Fridley moves forward with water main repair

The Fridley City Council on Aug. 28 unanimously accepted a proposed bid from Fer-Pal Construction USA, LLC for a water main repair under Interstate 694.
Two bids were received by the council but only one qualified as responsive.

The final engineer’s estimate was $214,000 and the approved bid came in at $154,888.

In December 2016, a 12-inch water main crossing Interstate 694 began leaking. The water main, which was installed in 1954, is located west of University Avenue and is one of five crossings of the interstate that the Fridley water system relies on.

Since the leak was noticed, two attempts of identifying the location of the leak and making repairs were unsuccessful due to the pipe being encased across the highway.

This project will rehabilitate the water main using the no-dig method of structural cured-in-place pipe lining approximately 440 feet of cast iron utility.

Due to the water main being under the freeway, open cut excavation is not practical and because the pipe is encased, pipe bursting is not available as a means of repair.

“Because of the casing and the concern about the casing strength we were afraid that we would go in and not be able to burst the pipe,” said Fridley Public Works Director James Kosluchar.

A repair by structural lining was then viewed as the only viable option.

“While it is expensive, this would allow repair without disturbance of the freeway,” said Kosluchar. “Fortunately, there is some redundancy in the system to allow this crossing to be taken offline for a time.”

The lining process chosen will provide a cast-in-place lining product that is strong enough to handle the water system pressure on its own, without the host pipe.
“If the old pipe, the 1954 cast iron pipe corrodes away the liner pipe is actually strong enough to hold the pressure,” said Kosluchar.

Due to the expense of the chosen method, the city allocated $200,000 in the 2018 CIP draft.

Overall, the project will be funded by the Water Utility Capital Fund.

The project will be completed this fall and city staff is already identifying pro-active project needs for similar interstate crossing locations.

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