City of Akron Awards Northside Interceptor Tunnel Contract to Granite Construction Company
Akron, Ohio, July 11, 2023 — The City of Akron has announced that the Northside Interceptor Tunnel Bid has been awarded to Granite Construction Company. The design for the Northside Interceptor Tunnel was completed in the Spring of 2023 and the City performed a pre-qualification process, with four contractors selected to submit proposals. The City carefully evaluated each proposal and selected Granite Construction Company’s proposal as the lowest and best responsible. Granite Construction Company’s proposal came in $17 million under the estimated construction cost.
The Northside Interceptor Tunnel Project is one of the final projects of the EPA mandated Consent Decree, entered in 2014, to improve the City’s sewer infrastructure and reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs). This project consists of constructing a 16.5-foot internal diameter tunnel. The tunnel will collect and store CSOs from four overflow locations, which are located along the Cuyahoga River. The tunnel route follows Riverside Drive from Cascade Valley Metro Park – Chuckery Area to Front Street. It will be 6,660 feet long, over 100 feet below ground in rock, and will be able to store over 10 million gallons of combined flow.
With the introduction of Amendment Number 3 to the Consent Decree in 2022, the City of Akron was able to successfully explain that the 16.5 foot or “right size” tunnel not only resulted in zero overflows in the typical year but provided $40 million in associated cost savings compared to the originally proposed 24 foot tunnel.
With the completion of this project, Akron will reduce Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) and Water Reclamation Facility Secondary Bypass by over 2 Billion gallons. The City will be capturing and treating 99% of wet weather flows and reducing the number of CSO events by 99.7%.
Funding for this project will be awarded through Ohio EPA’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF). Additionally, the City has worked with Ohio EPA and partners across the State to sponsor seven Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP) projects, which serve to protect valuable habitat and water resources. The program advances a portion of the interest payments from the City's Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) bond to pay for the implementation of the WRRSP projects. In turn, the interest rate on the City's 45-year bond will be reduced by up to 0.1%. In this case, the projected savings to the City of Akron is estimated to be over $6,000,000.
Construction is slated to start in the fall. In the meantime, existing utilities will need to be relocated to make room for the structures that will be constructed as part of the Northside Interceptor Tunnel. This work is currently taking place along Front Street and Riverside Drive.