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Lafayette taking more steps to improve Wabash River

Lafayette officials have a better idea of how much two projects will cost the city. The Board of Works opened bids for the Cincinnati Street tunnel extension and North Street reconstruction. Both are expected to help the quality of the Wabash River.

The city is extending its combined sewer storage tunnel system that is downtown. City Engineer Jenny Miller the new section will run from Riehle Plaza north along the railroad tracks to where Cincinnati ends at Third Street.

"It actually takes additional water into the collection system, so we can treat it at the plant, instead of going untreated into the river.”

She says bids opened Tuesday were below the estimate. The lowest bid was $1,079,200. Work is expected to start on the Cincinnati Street tunnel extension within the month and wrap up by December.

Work also will begin soon on replacing an old brick road in downtown.

Miller says the first phase of reconstructing North Street is schedule for later this month. It will begin with Ninth Street to Erie, and may include North Street from Ninth to Seventh, depending on available funding.

She says the work will include a combined sewer overflow project.

"Where we encourage the water to percolate through the ground, so it can be stored in some stormwater storage cells underneath the street before it gets into the collection system - diverting the water from being discharged untreated to the Wabash River.”

Miller says the bids being considered are in line with what her office expected. The lowest bid totals$917,085.60 for the stretch of North Street from Ninth to Erie. The lowest cost of reconstructing Ninth to Seventh is $770,330.

Construction should begin before the end of the month and run through September.