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Wallace Park work starting next week

BY CORIANNE EGAN cegan@paducahsun.com

A long-ranging sewer project will break ground next week and is expected to last into the summer. 

The Joint Sewer Agency will begin one of its biggest sewer separation projects Monday in the Wallace Park neighborhood. JSA director John Hodges said the construction will begin work to verify utility locations early next week. After the course is plotted, construction will begin on the $4 million project, which aims to separate the neighborhood's sanitary and storm water pipes.

The Wallace Park neighborhood lies west of Lone Oak Road, between Buckner Lane and Alben Barkley Drive.

The work is slated to affect from 50 to 80 yards in the community. Neighborhood residents were invited to attend several open public meetings - which were sparsely attended - throughout the past year.

Hodges said the work will concentrate on Jackson Street in order to bypass new construction - a Dunkin' Donuts store -in the area. The construction will continue on to Forrest Circle. Hodges emphasized the project's flexible start dates.

The project officially started last summer, when JSA installed two giant retention pipes under Independence Park at the corner of Lone Oak Road and Alben Barkley Drive. The pipes, which hold up to 600,000 gallons of water, were just the first step.

Paducah's sewage system, which dates back to 1897, was installed as a single pipe for waste water and storm drainage. The existing line will only channel storm water, which does not need to be chemically treated.

The new line that will be put in during the construction will carry waste water to JSA's sewage treatment plant.

Hodges said the work will be minimally invasive - a 3-foot wide trench in most places - and JSA is committed to returning lawns back to the way they were before the construction.

Most of the city still runs on one line. On a project last year on Bridge Street, separating just 2,000 feet of pipe cost the agency about $650,000. Bridge Street and Wallace Park are the two sections of the city where the physical separation is possible, Hodges said. Pipes in the more populated areas of the city would require digging up busy city streets.

Separating the entire city could cost hundreds of millions, Hodges said. In the distant future, JSA could install smaller treatment stations around the city.

The project is expected to run through into the fall in some places.

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