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August Construction Update

The City of West Lafayette is making progress in installing infrastructure along North River Road, with the goal of safeguarding the Wabash River against pollution resulting from the overflow of stormwater and wastewater.

During the month of August, 44 additional sheet piles were driven, completing that portion of the project with a total of 1,064 total driven. 80 cubic yards of concrete was poured, pushing the project total to 5,783 cubic yards. Last month the last of 30,300 total cubic yards were excavated to complete the tunnel excavation.

This ongoing project is a component of the River Road CSO initiative, which consists of three phases. Currently, the sewer system in West Lafayette operates as a unified conduit for transporting both stormwater and wastewater to the wastewater treatment plant. However, during ordinary rainfall events with a quarter-inch or more of precipitation, the combined system’s capacity can be overwhelmed, leading to the discharge of stormwater and wastewater into the Wabash River. This phenomenon is termed a combined sewer overflow (CSO).

With the aim of mitigating CSO occurrences and enhancing the overall well-being of the Wabash River, the City of West Lafayette launched the initial phase of the River Road CSO project in 2016. Since the completion of this phase, the number of overflow incidents in the area has dropped from 150 in a five-year span to fewer than five incidents since 2017.

Upon the conclusion of the second phase, projected for the autumn of 2023, the region affected by closures will experience a comparable decrease in CSO incidents. Subsequently, by the spring of 2026, the third phase of the River Road CSO project will commence, involving the expansion and modernization of the West Lafayette Water Resource Recovery Facility. This expansion aims to enhance the facility’s capability to process larger quantities of stormwater and wastewater.

In summary, the River Road CSO initiative will play a vital role in safeguarding the Wabash River while adhering to the standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.