Cascade Locks awards first bid for water upgrade

The City of Cascade Locks has selected a construction company to carry out the first stage of a federally supported overhaul of its municipal water system.

City council decided this fall to award a roughly $2.3 million bid to Crestline Construction for phase one of the “Water System Improvement Project.”

In August 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Cascade Locks will receive a $3.7 million rural improvement loan to overhaul its aging water system.

The city plans to replace about 1,500 feet of leaky distribution lines, install a new well and switch out a water reservoir with a storage tank. It will be the first major infrastructure upgrade to Cascade Locks’ water system in 20 years.

Gordon Zimmerman, city administrator, said the city is finishing up final paperwork with USDA before the project can launch.

“With the late bid and the early rains, we won’t get the first portion of the project done until March 2018,” Zimmerman said.

That initial stage will include pipeline work. The second phase will be the new water reservoir, and the third will be development of the new well.

Zimmerman said bids came in on time, but a problem was the project appeared to be “substantially over the engineering estimate.” However, the city revisited the total project and found costs were still feasible.

“As it turns out, based on budgetary quotes from water tank suppliers, that we could still fit the project at budget,” Zimmerman said. “But we are also trying to work with our partners to see if there is some expense that could be reduced or eliminated to give us a bigger cushion for potential change notices as the project progresses.”

According to a Sept. 18 letter from Tenneson Engineering Corporation, an engineer the city retained, Cascade Locks received five bids and accepted the lowest bidder, The Dalles-based Crestline.

The company has been in the heavy civil construction industry for over 20 years, Tenneson’s letter said.

The piping project also includes a railroad and bridge crossing, 93 vales, 15 hydrants and about 100 water service reconnections throughout the city.

USDA State Director Vicki Walker said in an August 2015 statement the project will not only address the Cascade Locks system’s repair needs but also increase its capacity, enabling it to better meet requirements of its customers, and providing improved water flow for industrial users and fire emergency response.

The water system serves commercial, residential and port industrial areas for a community of about 1,200 residents.

Some other steps toward the project have made headway.

In May, the city worked with the Port of Cascade Locks on a land exchange along Herman Creek Lane, in order to provide the city with additional space near its well field and wastewater plant for the proposed new well.

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