Baxter Boulevard Storage Conduit Project Starts January 30th

1/25/2013 -

Baxter Boulevard Storage Conduit Project Starts January 30
Installation of underground storage tanks to close section of Baxter Boulevard

PORTLAND, Maine – This Wednesday, the City of Portland’s Department of Public Services will begin construction on the Baxter Boulevard North Storage Conduit project, which will capture and reduce the volume of combined sewer overflow released into the Back Cove. As a result of this project, a section of Baxter Boulevard from Vannah Avenue to Bates Street will be closed to all traffic starting at 7:00 AM January 30th(map attached). The project involves the installation of an underground concrete box conduit able to store up to two million gallons of combined wastewater that can then be sent to the East End Wastewater Treatment Facility instead of being discharged untreated into Back Cove. Two separate one million gallon conduits will be installed, one located under Baxter Boulevard and the other under Payson Park.

While the work is underway, motorists are encouraged to avoid the area and utilize I-95 and I-295, specifically Exits 6 and 8, whenever possible. Local traffic should use Brighton Avenue and Riverside Street to access neighborhoods in the affected area. Pedestrians, runners and bicyclists will continue to have access to the trail system while construction is underway. Parking in Payson Park will be available for those accessing the trail.

Currently, more than half of the city’s sewer system combines sewage and stormwater into a single drainage system. During wet weather, a portion of this combined sewage, which includes stormwater, residential sewage and industrial waste, overflows into Portland’s streams, rivers and coastal waters untreated. This water pollution carries pathogens that can make swimmers sick, can contaminate seafood and overall, has serious impacts on the health of the Casco Bay. In addition to already completing more than $70 million worth of projects designed to separate sections of the city’s sewer system from its stormwater system, the city is also investing in underground storage units as a cost-effective way to reduce the release of combined sewer and stormwater into the city’s natural waterways during heavy rain events. Under federal order between 1993 and 2010, the City Council funded projects that reduced sewer overflow volumes by 42% from 1993 levels of 720 million gallons to 420 million gallons annually. More recently, the City Council approved a plan supporting $170 million of additional projects that would reduce sewer overflow volumes to 87 million gallons annually (an 88% reduction since 1993). This plan is set to begin in 2014.
Construction for the Baxter Boulevard North Storage

Conduit project is expected to be complete in eight months.

Click here to view the map.