For the past six years, residents living around Hudson Bayou feared another disaster at their neighborhood lift station could happen at any time.
In 2005, about 570,000 gallons of raw sewage leaked out of Lift Station 7 on Pomelo Avenue and into Hudson Bayou.
A subsequent investigation discovered the city did not inform residents that a 500,000-gallon spill from the same lift station occurred just a year earlier.
Residents around the lift station will now be getting some welcome relief.
Construction is scheduled to begin next month on a new lift station with a higher capacity that sits further away from the water.
“The night it was approved, I almost started crying,” said Susan Chapman, Hudson Bayou Neighborhood Association president. “For the people there, it’s like breathing a sigh of relief.”
The 18-month construction project, though, is going to impair travel throughout the area, including traffic on one of the city’s main north-south thoroughfares.
Osprey Avenue will be closed at various points during the work project.
“It’s going to be hard,” said Javier Vargas, the city’s utilities director. “It’s going to be disruptive to you.”
As of March 3, the order to begin work was sitting on Mayor Kelly Kirschner’s desk, waiting for his signature.
After it’s signed, it will take about another month before roadwork begins.
The project will happen in a series of stages. (See map on page 1).
The current schedule has Lift Station 87 being built from months one through nine in Lukewood Park, where U.S. 41 and U.S. 301 intersect.
According to the city, it will be a state-of-the-art lift station, with a back-up diesel system in case of power outages and odor control.
From months four through nine, Osprey Avenue will be closed from Brother Geenan Way south to Mound Street.
From months five through 10, a force main will be placed from Hudson Avenue along Alderman Street to Osprey Avenue and east to Lift Station 87.
From months five through 15, Osprey Avenue will be closed from Mound Street south to Alta Vista Street.
As early as month six or as late as month 10, the Osprey Avenue bridge over Hudson Bayou will be closed for renovation, prohibiting even local traffic from crossing the bayou.
Bridge repairs are expected to take up to four months to complete.
From months 12 through 16, a gravity sewer will be placed from Lift Station 7 to Lift Station 87, traveling from Pomelo Avenue to Alta Vista Street, north to Mound Street and east to the new lift station.
The project will close with the demolition of Lift Stations 7 and 71, which will occur from months 16 though 18.
What is a lift station?
A lift station is placed at a point in a sewer system where water needs to be pumped, or lifted, to a higher elevation, so that gravity can be used to bring that water to a treatment plant.
To view a map of where construction for the lift station will take place, click here.
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