Soldotna’s latest street project might result in some temporarily clogged up streets.
On April 13, the city will begin the installation of a new waste lift station near the intersection of Corral Avenue and Binkley Street.
The construction, which is the last stage of the Binkley Street Improvement Project, will result in the closure of the intersection until late May, according to the city’s website. The site links to a map with several detours around the project site.
The upgrade to the lift station will cost in excess of $200,000, but is much needed, said Soldotna’s City Engineer Kyle Kornelis in an email to the Clarion.
“The existing lift station is currently operating in the upper band of capacity,” he wrote. “Flows will continue to increase as the city grows. The upgrade will provide greater capacity now and into the future.”
Sewage lift stations, also known as pump stations, are used to elevate the waste in certain areas in order to allow gravity to provide an adequate rate of flow for the waste.
Currently, there are 16 lift stations operating within the city.
Installing this specific station won’t be easy. Not only does the city need to excavate at great depths, they must install the new system without interrupting flow from the previous lift station. This is especially important because the Binkley lift station “is by far the busiest,” Kornelis said.
Kornelis joked that the city could complete the project sooner “if everybody agrees to stop generating wastewater.”
In the email, Kornelis stressed the importance of both the city’s infrastructure and its utility crews.
“The utility infrastructure of a municipality provides an impressive and important function that is often overlooked,” Kornelis wrote. “Our Utility Department does a great job of maintaining and operating our distribution, collection, and wastewater treatment systems.”
Kornelis expressed that the construction, while burdensome for residents, is for the long-term benefit of the community.
“We appreciate everybody’s patience as we make needed improvements,” Kornelis wrote.
Reach Ian Foley at firstname.lastname@example.org.