Jessica Cejnar / Wednesday, Feb. 5 @ 3:23 p.m. / Community, Infrastructure, Local Government

Crescent City Council Gives Front Street Storm Drain Project to Tidewater Contractors

The Crescent City Council on Monday awarded a CDBG-funded project to alleviate flooding in the Front Street area to Tidewater Contractors. Photo: Andrew Goff

Tidewater Contractors will lead a storm drain project that seeks to alleviate residential flooding and will result in a redesign of the westernmost portion of Front Street.

The project will include widening storm drain capacity on Front Street between B and G streets and on C Street in Crescent City, according to City Manager Eric Wier. Once Front Street is rebuilt, vehicular lanes will be reduced from five lanes to two lanes. The redesigned Front Street will also include a median strip and diagonal parking, according to Wier.

The Crescent City Council on Monday unanimously approved the $3.833 million agreement with Tidewater Contractors. According to Wier, this includes $50,000 for installing electrical conduits for street lights and tree wells for a PA system in the area.

The project will be paid for with a $4.2 million Community Development Block Grant. The Council also approved allocating $167,000 from the water fund to pay for replacing a cast iron main on Front Street that was part of the original system installed in the 1950s.

Wier said allocating those water fund dollars toward the project will result in a contingency fund of about $426,000.

The project is expected to be finished in February 2021. According to Wier, grant dollars must be spent by June 30, 2021.

“We had five contractors bid on the project,” Wier told the Council, adding that Tidewater submitted the lowest bid. “I believe this is the second largest public works project the city’s ever done besides the (sewer) treatment plant rehab back in 2007.”

Current funding will cover the cost to build the Front and C street portion of the project, according to Wier. Completing the entire project, which includes portions of F Street and constructing a new outlet for the storm drain would cost a total of about $5.9 million, exceeding the city’s CDBG grant.

The city will continue to pursue permits for a new outlet for the project and anticipates having a permit in the winter, according to the staff report. This would allow the city to pursue funds and potentially construct the outfall portion of the project in 2021, according to the report.

Though only a portion of the overall project will be performed with CDBG dollars, Wier said it will provide a redundant storm drain system along D Street diverting flood waters from residential properties. He noted that large rain events in recent years has resulted in overflowing manholes and has displaced families.

“This is going to basically bring the flooding in those residential districts along to that 100-year event, which is where you want your buildings to be,” Wier said. “It doesn’t bring Front Street up to its full potential, but it will raise the street approximately six inches, dramatically reducing flooding along Front Street.”

As for street lights, there will be new light poles on the north side of Front Street. A six-inch cobblestone median will separate vehicular traffic from the parking area, Wier said. Front Street will also have defined walkways and crosswalks.

Wier noted that the February 2021 deadline for Tidewater Contractors gives them 300 days. Though it sounds like a lot of time, he said with the area’s short summer season it will be a push. Drivers along Front Street should expect traffic control during the project’s construction phase, Wier said.



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