$1B city sewer project reaches halfway point

By Rhonda J. Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Deep under the streets of Providence, a three-phase, $1 billion tunnel has reached the halfway point in a massive construction project to capture sewage and stormwater runoff and move it along to wastewater-treatment facilities. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



GOVERNMENT

$1B city sewer project reaches halfway point

COURTESY PETER GOLDBERG
WHAT LIES BENEATH: Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee, center, surveys a tunnel that captures sewage overflow, with Narragansett Bay Commission Executive Director Ray Marshall, left, and Scott Early lead inspector at Gilbane-Jacobs.

By Rhonda J. Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 12/9/13

Deep under the streets of Providence, a three-phase, $1 billion tunnel has reached the halfway point in a massive construction project to capture sewage and stormwater runoff and move it along to wastewater-treatment facilities.

The federally mandated Combined Sewer Overflow Project is being done to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act – that’s taking 20 years, with a project timeline from 2001 to 2021.

Old drainage systems in Providence, Central Falls and Pawtucket combined sewage and stormwater discharge, while newer communities have two separate systems, said Narragansett Bay Commission spokeswoman Jamie Samons.

Phase I of the sewer-overflow project was construction of a tunnel 26 feet in diameter that began in 2001. That first phase was completed in 2008 and began capturing overflow, said Samons. The project is now halfway into Phase II with a tunnel that’s 9 feet in diameter being connected to the first tunnel.

“This project is having, and will continue to have, a major positive impact on water quality in the upper bay,” said Save The Bay Director of Advocacy Topher Hamblett, who has been active in the organization for more than 20 years. Hamblett represented Save The Bay during the original stakeholder meetings, which began in 1996, to develop the Combined Sewer Overflow Project.

“Upwards of 5 billion gallons of sewage and polluted stormwater that would have otherwise been going into our local rivers was actually captured, stored and treated thoroughly at the Narragansett Bay Commission facility since this sewer overflow project went online in 2008,” said Hamblett.

“You can see the improvement in water quality. Every spring, summer and fall there are hundreds of boats on the Providence and Seekonk rivers fishing for striped bass and bluefish,” he said. “There’s been significant growth in community boating. You’ll see people in kayaks on these rivers. The public is using our waters much more than they were 10 and 20 years ago.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Two Great Programs...One Great Event. PBN's Annual Celebration of Growth and Innovation is now underway. 2014 applications are now available. Deadline August 1st.
  • 40 Under Forty
    We're almost sold out. The 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planni ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    See who the Healthiest Employers in RI are! And save the date - August 14th - at ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement