Sewer line under Mississippi River being replacedby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Work is scheduled to begin later this month to replace an aging sewer pipe that runs under the Mississippi River from South St. Paul to St. Paul, officials have announced.
The new sewer line will cross under the river about a mile and a half north of the Interstate 494/Wakota Bridge in South St. Paul.
The first phase of the approximately $37 million project will begin in a commercial and industrial area of South St. Paul between Concord Blvd. and the Mississippi River.
The next two phases will involve installing the new pipes under the river, then along a peninsula between the river and Pig's Eye Lake.
"We're working with several local, state and federal agencies and commercial entities to minimize the project's impact on river navigation and environmentally sensitive areas in and along the river," said Bill Moeller, an assistant general manager of the Metropolitan Council's Environmental Services Division, which operates the sewer.
The river crossing will involve digging a 10-foot-deep, 68-foot-wide trench in the river bed to install a 1,300-foot stretch of pipe, officials said.
The work is being done by Burnesville-based Ames Construction.
The existing 48-inch-diameter sewer was built in 1973. It runs from South St. Paul to the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant in St. Paul.
It pumps about 7 million gallons of wastewater each day from several cities, including South St. Paul, Inver Grove Heights, Newport and St. Paul Park.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by mid-2011. The final two phases are expected to be ready by 2012.