Friday, June 14, 2024

CFPUA awards $13M contract to launch wastwater facility upgrade

CFPUA’s Southside Wastewater Treatment Facility will be replaced and capacity will increase to the tune of $250 million. (Courtesy CFPUA)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A project to replace an aging facility and also increase utility capacity is moving closer to fruition.

READ MORE: CFPUA receives $35 million in state loans for Southside water plant

ALSO: CFPUA: Costs rise for construction of new wastewater treatment facility, now topping $250M

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Board approved Wednesday a $13.1 million contract to Crowder Construction Company for the first phase of the Southside Wastewater Treatment Plant project.

The contract will allow Crowder to conduct an engineering report, site survey, achieve 75% design and drawings acquire permits, evaluate grants and sustainability and other pre-construction work.

Phase one is expected to wrap by July 2025, with the entire facility coming online by 2030.

The awarded funds make up 13% of the project’s entire $240 million budget to replace the existing Southside Wastewater Treatment Plant, built in 1972 and located at 3436 River Road. CFPUA also plans to expand treatment capacity from 12 million gallons per day to 16 MGD.

The replacement and expansion project will undergo a design-build process where CFPUA hires a single firm to do both project design and construction. The design-build method is intended to expedite the timeline.

To assist with the project, CFPUA received a $35 million low-interest loan from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality; the board voted to accept the funds Wednesday. The 1.76% loan comes from NCDEQ’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and will ultimately lower the amount CFPUA will have to borrow for the project, in turn reducing the project’s impact on customers’ rates.

Already CFPUA rates will increase 13% over the course of a decade due to the escalating cost of the project, which doubled since 2013.

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