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$8 million sewer project moves forward in GI

An $8 million sewer project is moving forward at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Grand...
An $8 million sewer project is moving forward at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Grand Island.(KSNB)
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 5:17 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - An $8 million sewer project is moving forward at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Grand Island.

The project is a partnership between the City of Grand Island, Hall County and the Hall County Airport Authority.

It will replace an aging sewer line that’s been around since World War II.

“This line is at a point of failure,” said Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele. “It has cracks, leaks and is sagging beyond repair and the city does have methods to repair aging sewer lines but this line is just too far gone to do that.”

Public Works Director John Collins said most of it is in pretty poor condition.

He said it’s not going to collapse tomorrow, but “the risk of catastrophic failure is higher than normally acceptable, so it’s time to do something.”

Mayor Steele said in the summer, Grand Island received $4.5 million in federal COVID funds from the American Rescue Plan. He proposed the project with Hall County and CNRA after learning of the federal money.

The airport will cover $500,000 and the rest will be split evenly between the city and county. They will use federal COVID money to pay for the project.

The project includes replacing four miles of sewer line as well as replacing two lift stations into a singular one and reducing the number of manholes. This will reduce construction costs and reduce maintenance starting in 20 to 30 years.

Steele said consequences of the sewer line right now is that the airport and others who use the line have high sewer bills due to groundwater seeping into the line.

Steele said the sewer line has been a problem for years and it’s high time it gets fixed.

It covers 280 acres, but once this project is done, it will be able to service more than 500 acres or 100 percent of the property that the airport controls.

Steele said this new sewer line will make the entire area of CNRA accessible for development.

He added that the airport has a huge economic impact to the area.

Steele mentioned that CNRA Executive Director Mike Olson spoke to the city council Tuesday night, saying $23 million in improvements have been put in at the airport.

”We want to have city services extended to that area that is up to par to all the improvements being made,” said Steele.

Collins said bids should be going out in the next couple weeks. If all goes well, the project should be complete in December of 2023.

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