Sycamore projects combined to lessen impact

LAWRENCEVILLE - County officials have combined four road and water projects in the Sugar Hill area to make construction go easier for residents.

Commissioners today are expected to take up a $17.3 million contract proposal to build a new bridge and do other alignment improvements on Sycamore Road, and build both water and sewer pipelines through the area.

"It was evident either one of these projects was going to mean the road was going to be closed," project manager Mike Kilgore said to the Water and Sewerage Authority Monday. "We were finally able to put all four projects together so our citizens will only be impacted one time."

Kilgore said special considerations have been made for a subdivision, which as an entrance in the middle of the construction zone. He said the road will be closed to one side of the entrance and then reopened before the other side is closed.

Not only does the project mean improvements to the road, but engineers have designed a pipeline from the Shoal Creek Filter Plant to the water distribution system, which will make the new drinking water plant fully redundant. Currently, water must be piped to the older Lanier Filter Plant to be pumped into the system, which means the new plant would be no help in a crisis, if the Lanier plant is closed, Kilgore said.

At the same time, the design calls for a portion of the reuse pipeline required to send treated wastewater from the county's F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center to Lake Lanier. Kilgore said the rest of the pipeline will go to construction, soon, but its proximity to the Sycamore projects made engineers decide to do the pipelines together.

"It just makes sense while we are digging a ditch to make the ditch wider and put them both in," he said.

The lowest bid of $17.3 million, which was submitted by John D. Stephens Inc. is about $2 million less than construction estimates.

While the Water Resources Department will manage the contract, Kilgore said the transportation projects will be funded by that department, through the special purpose local option sales tax.