The Hudson Bayou $9.5 million lift station project is on schedule, despite a micro-tunneling glitch and a construction accident that sent a construction worker to the hospital earlier this month.
On Nov. 8, an Orlando-based Rodriguez Concrete construction worker was injured and airlifted by a Bayflite helicopter to a St. Petersburg hospital after a portion of a concrete wall being erected at the site fell on him.
“They were sawing some plywood with steel frames, and as they were erecting them, a gust of wind or a last-second adjustment caused a piece of the concrete to topple over him,” said Mary Ellen Maurer, project engineer for the Osprey Avenue/Luke Wood utility project. “He suffered some fractures of the spine but has no internal injuries or head injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.”
And last month, a drill got stuck while digging for future pipe placement because of a miscalculation error at the lift station project in Luke Wood Park, which is located at the intersection of U.S. 41 and U.S. 301.
Maurer said the project, which began in May, is on schedule despite what she called “a minor glitch.”
“The micro-tunneling itself is behind schedule, but the lift station project is not,” said Maurer, who said the micro- tunneling had begun again cautiously around Hudson Bayou.
Meanwhile, foundations have already been poured on three of the four buildings being erected and the walls have already been erected on a deep-well building.
“We are currently on schedule and expect to be complete in June 2012,” Maurer said.
As far as Osprey Avenue is concerned, the thoroughfare from Mound Street to Bahia Vista Street will remain closed through February.
Starting Nov. 28, Osprey Avenue will be closed for 60 days between Mound Street and Brother Geenan Way. That closure is necessary while crews install a water main as part of the project.
Then, in June, Osprey Avenue will be closed from Lincoln Avenue to Alta Vista Street before it’s re-opened in October 2012.
“It’s the largest underground lift station the city has ever undertaken and it’s one of the largest, if not the largest, underground lift station the state has ever permitted,” Maurer said.
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 a year prior.
The investigation paved the way for the capital improvement project, which is creating a new lift station with a higher capacity and odor-control capability that sits further away from the water.
According to the city, it will be a state-of-the-art facility, with a back-up diesel system in case of power outages.
The construction project, though, continues to impair travel throughout the area, including traffic on a primary north-south thoroughfares.
May 2011 — Construction begins
September 2011— Forcemain construction begins; Osprey Avenue closure begins
October 2011 — Micro-tunneling begins
June 2012 — Lift station work is expected to be complete
July 2012 — Portion of Osprey Avenue expected to re-open
October 2012— Osprey Avenue completely re-opens
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 gravity can be used to bring that water to a treatment plant.