Fresno is spending about $18.2 million to build a four-mile section of new water mains as part of its $429 million Recharge Fresno plan.
The Fresno City Council awarded a contract last week to Floyd Johnston Construction of Clovis for what is called the A-2 segment of a new regional transmission pipeline that will connect the city’s water system to the Southeast Surface Water Treatment Plant now under construction in southeast Fresno. The A-2 segment takes a roundabout route from First Street and Olive Avenue to near H and Divisadero streets.
The Johnston company submitted the lowest of seven bids received by the city. The other bids ranged from $18.6 million up to $22.8 million. Before seeking bids, the city’s engineers estimated the cost of the four-mile pipeline segment at $20 million.
Construction of the A-2 segment may begin by the end of this year, with completion expected in early 2018, according to a report to the City Council.
Earlier this year, the city awarded a $28.4 million contract for another section of the regional water pipeline, the A-1 segment along Olive Avenue between Fowler Avenue and First Street. That contract went to the Livermore-based construction firm Mountain Cascade Inc., which was the lowest of five bidders. That pipeline section could be completed by the end of 2017.
Two future sections of the pipeline are set to run north along Chestnut Avenue from Olive Avenue to the area of Dakota and Winery avenues, and along Temperance Avenue from Belmont Avenue to Kings Canyon Road.
Fresno broke ground earlier this year on the southeast treatment plant, which is expected to cost about $159 million by the time it opens in late 2018. That plant, located north of Olive and east of Fowler, will treat water from Pine Flat and Millerton lakes for the city’s water needs. It will ultimately have the capacity to treat up to 80 million gallons of water daily.
By using more of its share of groundwater allocations from the two reservoirs, the city will be able to rely less on water pumped from the underground aquifer, easing the strain on the area’s chronically overdrafted water table.
Excess surface water that cannot be treated by either the southeast plant or the city’s smaller, 12-year-old Northeast Surface Water Treatment Plant near Chestnut and Behymer avenues will be routed to basins and other means of recharging the water table.