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Contractor picked for $1.6 million Gainesville sewer upgrade
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Aging and corroded sewer pipes identified through routine maintenance will be retrofitted using trenchless technology that officials say will make the sewer lines efficient with minimum disruptions at five busy areas in Gainesville.

The Department of Water Resources outlined the $1.6 million upgrades during a Gainesville City Council work session Thursday.

Council is expected to formally approve a resolution at its meeting Tuesday awarding the construction contract to Strickland & Sons Pipeline Inc. The Gainesville-based contractor submitted a lowest acceptable bid of $1,389,975.40 to do the sanitary sewer improvements.

Water Resources requested an amount not to exceed $1,655,000 that includes contingency, legal fees and other costs.

“The sewer lines are old and may need repair or are too close to a structure and they need to be moved so we can better maintain them,” Water Resources Director Linda MacGregor said about the project.

MacGregor identified the areas that will undergo improvements as Mundy Mill Road at Interstate 985; a group of streets at Dixon Drive; Holly Drive; McEver Road between Browns Bridge Road and Free Chapel; and Tommy Aaron Drive.

Instead of the traditional digging, removing and replacing of old pipes, most of the work will be done using trenchless technology, which MacGregor described as being less disruptive and  taking less of an area to get the work done.

“”We basically put a flexible tube in the pipe that has chemicals, resins in it,” MacGregor said. “We push it through the pipe. Then we push steam through the pipe, which activates those chemicals. It makes a smooth inside surface for the wastewater to flow through the pipe.”

MacGregor said the technique has been used several times in the past on other projects.

“Relatively speaking, it’s a new technology, but it’s proven and many utilities use it,” she said.

Without the trenchless technology, MacGregor said the work would be more labor-intensive, take more time, close more traffic lanes and cost more.

“We’ll have a few places where we have to do short closures to do work, but we won’t impact traffic very much with these five projects,” MacGregor added.

The five sites that will undergo sewer upgrades were identified in fiscal 2016. Work is expected to begin later this year.

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