With the start of a new decade, a number of new public works and development projects are on the table for the City of Delta. Public Works Director Betsy Suerth listed a few.
Redesign of the Fourth Street Hill:
East of Delta Main Street, Fourth Street eventually takes a right turn and becomes Hillside Street. The road is commonly referred to as the Fourth Street Hill due to its steep incline upward, and in the next few years, it’s getting a much needed redesign, according to Suerth.
“The design is complex,” Suerth said. “It’s going to address both the road condition issues and the stormwater issues, which are the basis for the reason the road is falling apart.”
According to Suerth, in addition to the road being redone on the surface level, a series of pipes will be added in order to combat road damage caused by stormwater in the future. This will be done by keeping massive amounts of running water off the road.
“There’s a lot of groundwater, mostly irrigation return water from Garnet Mesa that impacts the condition of the road,” Suerth said, “and because it’s deteriorated, it exponentially deteriorates once it gets to a certain point because that drainage just gets worse and worse as the road disintegrates.”
Due to the complexity of the project, Suerth said they probably won’t be looking at implication of the project until 2021, or even phased into 2022. “It’ll be a full-depth repair, most likely, which means you go all the way down, take the asphalt out of the base and go into the sub-base.”
There is no cost estimate for the project yet. Many factors have not yet been determined.
The City of Delta Public Works Department has already made preparations for a future of fiber optics, which promotes high-speed internet. According to Suerth, they finished a project in which they prepared polls in the downtown area for internet providers to use, bringing fast internet into town.
At the Dec. 3 Delta City Council meeting, Fiber West Representative Rob McAtee presented the council with the option to partner with them in order to share splice points and fiber optics. The partnership would allow them to create a grid with fiber optics, which could open up opportunities for not only high speed internet, but city-wide wireless services, remote meter reading and online portals where customers could view their energy and water usage in live time. Additionally, it could provide the opportunities for easy remote disconnects, allowing people to turn off houselights from a distance.
The DCI article, “City staff recommends that Delta pair with Fiber West for fiber optics” goes into further detail on Fiber West and the proposed memorandum of understanding with the city.
The prospective future fiber optics creates is further out, according to Suerth, with no real timeline or guarantee that any or all of these things will happen. “It really is dependent on how many people use the service from the internet service providers because that provides them the capital to keep going with their expansion,” Suerth said.
“There is an agreement in place for the city to own a buffer tube,” Suerth said. “We want that for internal city purposes.” Delta’s “business transaction,” as Suerth called it, is aimed to bring those services downtown.
According to Suerth, Fiber West is focusing on bringing the option of quick and affordable internet to residential areas. At the moment, Bluff Street is their testing area, but they are working on an expansion from that point. In order to do that, they need enough residents to sign up and show interest in it.
Leon Street sewer line replacement:
While both the Fourth Street Hill and fiber optics projects are long-term plans right now, the Public Works Department is also about to start a replacement of sewer line on Leon Street, Suerth said, with an estimated start date of April. Suerth recommended that residents of Leon Street plan ahead to some degree.
West Legacy Park:
Another more timely project is that of the pocket park that will be built where the old West’s Home Center sat until October. In August and October, Suerth said the project had an estimated completion date of mid May, and according to Suerth now, that is still the case.
“Until we get a contractor on board and see a schedule, we won’t know exactly, we won’t have a real accurate picture of that,” Suerth said, but the estimated completion date remains the same right now.
At the Jan. 7 city council meeting, Councilman Kevin Carlson brought up concerns that brick was falling off the walls on the outer edges of the neighboring businesses. While some brick has fallen, Suerth assured Carlson that the structure is currently determined to be stable. There are multiple layers of brick in various places, according to Suerth, and the brick that has fallen is not affecting either neighboring business. Brick has only fallen and is only at risk of falling within the worksite, which is fenced off from the public.
According to Suerth, the demolition team didn’t know what they would find or what obstacles they would hit during the process, as the building was over 100 years old. Considering they were prepared for obstacles, the process went well. Next steps includes determining property boundaries for the pocket park and the neighboring businesses.
Concrete replacement project and annual maintenance:
Suerth said the Public Works Department is processing the scope of replacing sidewalks in town and also chip sealing roads, which are annual maintenance projects. General road and sidewalk maintenance is a constant concern for the city, Suerth said.