Nine years after the the town moved its water and sewer system under Raleigh’s jurisdiction, one of the final capital projects agreed to as part of the merger is underway.
The $7.9 million project happens to come just as Wake Forest customers are anticipating their first round of lower water and sewer bills because the town has paid off its costs related to the merger.
The project is run by Raleigh’s public utilities department and includes the installation of three new sewer lines.
“Wake Forest has experienced a lot of growth and development, so this was identified as a need,” said Dennis Lassiter, Raleigh’s construction project administrator.
The project allows the system to catch up with the growth the town has experienced in the past decade and addresses problems with rainfall and groundwater infiltrating the sewer system, Lassiter said.
A new 30-inch sewer line will run from the Smith Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to Lagerfield Road. A new 24-inch line will run from Lagerfield to Heritage Height, and a new 16-inch line will run from Heritage Height to Franklin Street.
The new lines are designed to accommodate growth through 2035.
Construction is expected to be completed in March 2016.
The project will close the Smith Creek greenway from Burlington Mills Road to the Neuse River Bridge until late spring 2015.
It also will close portions of the Dunn Creek Greenway near Heritage Lake Road at some point during the project, but the schedule has not been announced.
Wake Forest water and sewer customers will get their first look at their new bills beginning Dec. 1. The average customer would see their bills decrease by $8 to $15 per month. They will pay the same rates as customers in Raleigh, Rolesville and Garner.
However, non-residential customers with meters larger than five-eighths of an inch could see an increase in their monthly bill because of an administration fee in the Raleigh rate schedule that is based on meter size.
Richland Creek Greenway still closed
Residents interested in a trip on the greenways also will need to avoid the Richland Creek Greenway for several more weeks.
The greenway has been closed for more than a year because of severe stream bank erosion that could pose a safety risk.
Crews are working to repair the damage by relocating a portion of the creek away from the greenway trail and sewer lines.
An earlier effort to regrade and strengthen the eroded stream bank failed after heavy rainfall this spring weakened the repairs.
The trail could open again as early as mid-December.