PAWTUCKET – An assessment report by engineering firm Fuss & O’Neill estimating the cost of site upgrades needed to keep the Grotto Avenue Waste Transfer Station in Pawtucket operational said the project would range from $740,000 to $1.5 million for short-term operations (two to three years) and between $1.3 million and $2.5 million for long-term operations (25 years), the city announced Monday.
The estimation also found the cost of closing and capping the former landfill would be even higher, at $4 million. The report noted an expansion of the transfer station’s operations was not a feasible option, as extending rail service to the Grotto Avenue location was “likely not practical.”
“There is no easy solution to Pawtucket’s waste transfer needs, as shown in the past through various options and evaluations, and that is why my administration has worked diligently to present the City Council with options, facts and well-researched cost estimates so an informed decision can be made,” said Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien in a statement. “Now that the report supports the impact and costs presented, the reality remains that the council and the administration must address this critical issue, and that all options – from siting a new waste transfer facility to continuing operations at Grotto Avenue to capping and closing the current site – come with costs, benefits and an impact to our city.”
The report was commissioned in May by the city’s Public Works Department, at the request of the City Council following an April 12 R.I. Department of Environmental Management inspection report identifying site deficiencies that would need to be addressed in order to keep the facility operational.
The proposed updates to the transfer station include new doors on the transfer station building, replacing the building’s siding and roofing, stabilizing the building’s retaining walls and raising the load-out area, among other plans.
Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.