Marlene Feist, Director of Strategic Development, Public Works & Utilities, No Phone Number Available
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 9:49 a.m.
Pettet Drive to the east of TJ Meenach Drive is lovingly known to most Spokanites as Doomsday Hill, the punishing uphill section at Mile 5 of our annual Bloomsday Run. The hill also boasts incredible views of the Spokane River and now will become home to a project that will help protect the health of the river.
Work began in March 2016 on a 700,000-gallon concrete, underground storage tank that will be built into the hillside to the north of the Pettet Drive. Halme Construction, of Spokane, is the contractor on this $7 million construction project.
The project will help prevent overflows from combined wastewater and stormwater sewers from entering the river. To facilitate this project and keep citizens safe, Doomsday Hill will be closed just after Bloomsday 2016 and reopen before Bloomsday 2017.
Nearby, along TJ Meenach Drive south of Northwest Boulevard, yet another tank to manage combined sewer overflows is planned. This one will hold about 1.2 million gallons of combined wastewater and is expected to begin construction in fall 2016. A stormwater infilitration area also eventually will be added at this location.
In some parts of the City, wastewater and stormwater sewers are linked together and during periods of heavy rain or rapid snowmelt, these pipes can become overwhelmed and overflow to the river. Tanks like this store the excess water until the storm surge subsides and the water can be sent to the Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility for treatment.
All of the work is part of the City’s Cleaner River Faster initiative. The City is investing more than $300 million in projects to improve water quality in the Spokane River.
The Cleaner River Faster initiative also encourages the City to include above-ground benefits when completing underground infrastructure work. These projects include new trail connections, notably a new separated paved pedestrian and bike trail on the river side of Doomsday Hill.