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City of Lakewood to Host Ground Breaking for Sewer Project

LAKEWOOD, WA – On Thursday, May 28th at 10 am, the City of Lakewood will conduct a ground breaking ceremony in Tillicum at the vacant lot behind “Kings Barbershop” on Maple St. SW (just west of Union Ave). Attendees are invited to park at the Tillicum Baptist Church (8415 Maple St. SW) adjacent to Washington Ave. Refreshments will be provided.

This project was set in motion on May 4th when the Lakewood City Council approved a $9,053,195 contract with Northwest Cascade Inc. for the first phase of the “Tillicum/Woodbrook Sanitary Sewer Extension Project.” It will include the main sewer lines into Tillicum and Woodbrook as well as storm drainage, roadway improvements, and a water main replacement in Tillicum. The contractor has expressed a strong interest in expediting the project – completing it in 12-15 months instead of the contract maximum of eighteen months. Follow-on projects include constructing additional sewer extensions and connecting these first phase improvements to the County’s sewer system in the Ponders area. All phases of the project are expected to add up to $17 million, which would make it the largest public works project undertaken by the City of Lakewood in its thirteen year history.

The project will be funded by a variety of sources. Lakewood sewer customers are paying a surcharge to cover nearly a half of the total project costs through a Washington State Public Trust Fund Loan. Lakewood Water District is paying $700,000 associated with the replacement of its water lines and other City funding sources are funding the majority of the remaining costs, with the Federal government paying $2.5 million and the State paying $500,000.

Mayor Doug Richardson, who will preside at the ceremony, indicated “this ground breaking is important because it means we are on track in meeting the city council’s top priority – which is the revitalization of the Tillicum and Woodbrook neighborhoods.” City Manager Andrew Neiditz also remarked that “this event meets a key objective for Lakewood economic development. Many businesses cannot invest in areas unserved by sewer and we see many signs that this project is already generating noteworthy interest for commercial improvements. Just as importantly, sewers generally do a better job protecting the environment from groundwater contamination than septic systems.”

When the sewer extension is completed and there are sufficient connection commitments to make it operational, it will be turned over to Pierce County for operation and maintenance.

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