Water main tops list of Auburn’s summer construction projects

Summer 2023 will be a hot time for construction projects in the city of Auburn.

Though not all of the work will start this summer, the city has 34 active capital projects in various stages of development, 28 of them in design, and six in construction, the latter with an approximate total project value of $12.5 million.

The big daddy of this construction season will the Coal Creek Springs Transmission Main project.

Coal Creek Springs is Auburn’s largest water source, with a 24-inch water main that carries water from the springs to the city’s treatment and storage facilities on the north side of the Green River. But at 100 years of age, the main under the White River near Game Farm and Game Farm Wilderness parks has reached the end of its useful life and could fail.

To fix this problem, the city will build a utility bridge across the White River, with a pedestrian walkway on top, and then attach the new water main under the walkway. Work will also extend the existing paved trail systems in Game Farm and Game Farm Wilderness Park to connect to the bridge, which will provide for future utility connections across the White River.

Numerous alternatives were considered, among them: drilling underneath the river; digging a trench through the river bottom; lining the existing pipe. The city, however, considered the bridge the most viable option and coordinated with numerous government agencies to minimize environmental impacts.

According to the city, careful planning has designed this project to minimize impacts to the river and shoreline by planting new trees and native vegetation in affected areas. The city will also plant large trees alongside the river for fish habitat.

Funding for the $5,315,176 project draws from the city’s parks fund, its water fund and a loan from the state’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund.

Construction on the CCS project should start in August and continue through the fall of 2024.

Here are other capital projects slated for this summer:

■ Starting in July, the city continues its program of arterial preservation by replacing concrete road panels on 8th Street Northeast near Harvey Road and R Street Northeast and crack-sealing a number of streets throughout the city.

■ In August, the city begins work on effecting improvements to the Auburn Airport runway and taxiway, with grading to rehabilitate the runway and taxiway pavement. This project will likewise upgrade the taxiway lighting and runway lighting. Expect a 30-day closure of the runway to complete the work.

■ In September, the city will tackle the Lake Tapps-Sumner Tapps preservation and asphalt restoration project, which will replace and install curbs, gutters, sidewalks and curb ramps.