VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Work was underway Thursday, and was expected to be for about another week, to bore a 300 ft. tunnel under the portion of I-75 in Valdosta that runs behind Sam's on Norman Dr. and install a 60 in. steel casing to house a new 42 in. steel sewer pipe.
That sewer pipe is part of the pipe system that was being installed to replace the city's 54 in. gravity fed sewer line and carry the city's sewage to the new waste water treatment plant.
Valdosta's Assistant Utilities Director, David Frost, said the city had already completed five or six similar bores in other locations across the city as of Thursday. This is the only one that goes under I-75 and was expected to be the last one in order to complete the roughly $36 million force main project.
"From engineering purposes, this was the best route to take to get to the new Withlacoochee Waste Water Treatment Plant," said Frost.
As of Thursday, the force main project was expected to be completed in January 2016. It will allow sewage to be forced through the pipes rather than be sent through the pipes by gravity.
"We have a 6.2 mile force main that's replacin' the 54 in. gravity main right now that we have goin' to our waste water treatment plant, our Withlacoochee plant," Frost explained.
The city hoped getting the sewage through the pipes faster would eliminate any backups in the pipes and therefore eliminate almost all sewer overflows.
Frost said weather permitting, the crew would likely dig around 40 ft. per day with a goal of completing the project in about 10 days.