The City of Greenville soon will begin one of the most ambitious engineering projects in the city’s history.
The City Council on Monday is scheduled to vote to award a contract to Trader Construction of New Bern for the Town Creek Culvert Drainage Improvement Project. The City Council is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 200 W. Fifth St. The meeting will include a public comment period.
The project is a more than $20 million rebuild of the city’s Town Creek Culvert, the main line that supports the drainage of stormwater from 400 acres in the downtown and university area — including locations known to flood in heavy storms.
A culvert is an infrastructure system allowing water to flow under roads, railroads and other above-ground structures. Greenville’s Town Creek Culvert is a pipe-like structure large enough to walk upright in some places. The culvert begins near West Ninth Street and Ficklen Street and empties into the Tar River near east of Reade and First streets at the Town Common.
The structure was constructed prior to 1935 and needs to be replaced, Public Works Director Kevin Mulligan said. Its deteriorating condition has contributed to localized flooding and has caused multiple pavement failures.
The system also needs to be upgraded to accommodate construction of the 10th Street Connector — a $46 million N.C. DOT project to provide a modern multi-lane connection between ECU and the city’s medical district — which will redirect stormwater from two other outfalls to the Town Creek Culvert.
The upgraded culvert, originally built for a two-year storm, will be made of reinforced concrete and built for a 25-year storm.
“This is the most complex project the city has ever undertaken,” Mulligan said.
The city’s award from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund — a zero-interest loan — will help pay about $16 million of the project. About $3 million of the total will be funded by Greenville Utilities Commission for work associated with their water and wastewater infrastructure and the city’s Stormwater Utility Fund will be used to pay off the remainder.
Bids for construction were received in June 8. Trader Construction Co. of New Bern submitted the lowest responsive bid in the amount of $22,281,176.15. City staff are recommending that the City Council award the contract to Trader Construction in the amount of $22,281,176.15 with a 10 percent contingency of $2,228,117.62 for a total of $24,509,293.77.
Road closures due to construction will occur in phases, Mulligan said, and detours will be set up to accommodate traffic flow in the area.
“Since the project cuts through a good portion of Uptown Greenville, we have to do construction one intersection at a time,” he said. “We also will have specific timetables for each phase of the project.”
In addition to addressing drainage issues, the project includes plans to construct rain gardens and step pools along the culvert to beautify the area and remove nitrogen and phosphorous from the water. The city is partnering with ECU to deal with water retention and filtration issues.
ECU last year was awarded $110,209 in grant funds from a state conservation program to develop and implement comprehensive stream stabilization, water quality monitoring and an outreach plan to augment the restoration of Town Creek.
The grant will be used to purchase 100 trees that will be planted along the banks of Town Creek to stabilize the banks, uptake nutrients, shade the water and provide habitat for animals. The money also will be used to purchase environmental monitoring equipment and pay for the analyses of water samples for various nutrients and bacteria.
“The city is developing a wonderful partnership with ECU on this project,” Mulligan said. “They are going to create a working classroom as the project moves along.
“This is the largest green infrastructure project of its kind,” Mulligan said. “It’s really an ambitious undertaking.”
Go to www.greenvillenc.gov for a full agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting.