Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai to mull funding for water main threatened by erosion

The water main, which runs parallel to the eroding bluff, was described as an “emerging issue” by the city public works director.

The City of Kenai is racing against bluff erosion to protect a water main along Mission Avenue. Legislation approved for introduction by the Kenai City Council during the body’s Sept. 15 meeting would fund the project with money in the city’s Water and Sewer Special Revenue Fund and award a project contract.

The water main, which runs parallel to the eroding bluff, was described as an “emerging issue” by Kenai Public Works Director Scott Curtin in a Sept. 8 memo to the city council. The city estimates the water main has been in place since 1964, but faces new threats caused by the erosion of the bluff.

“The main is now nearing the exposed edge of the bluff face,” Curtin wrote.

As part of the project, new water main valves would be installed, which the legislation says will isolate about 400 feet of piping. That’s in addition to the installation of new replacement service pipes from the water main to the curb stop valve, with the goal of preventing further erosion that may impact services.

“Addressing this work now in a controlled manner will be far less expensive and impactful than attempting to after failure,” the legislation says.

The project would be completed by HDL Engineering Consultants LLC as part of a term service agreement the company has with the city. Under that agreement, the water main is identified as “Task 7,” according to the legislation.

A public hearing on the legislation will be held during the council’s Oct. 6 meeting. The Kenai City Council’s Sept. 15 meeting can be viewed in full on the city’s YouTube page.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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