Town of Vevay prepares for $1 million storm sewer project


The town of Vevay is about to embark on a $1 million storm sewer project that town council members hope will alleviate standing water and flooding conditions in different parts of the community.

The town will use a $1 million grant that it received from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. That state office is administering federal grant funds that were made available to Indiana counties that were declared disaster areas as a result of the flooding that occurred in 2008.

Even though $1 million is a lot of money, it’s not enough to completely fix the town’s storm water disbursement issues, but the town council feels that this grant will go a long way in solving some of the more major problems.

In plans developed by Strand Associates, the town is expected to begin the project in June. Holman Excavating of Versailles was awarded two bids: one totaling $700,357 and a second contract for $148,331.05 to do the work.

Town Council member Kirk Works said that the major portion of the work will begin near the Ohio River, and will come up Main Cross Street. The project will come north on Main Cross to Pike Street, where it will “T” and go west past Switzerland Baptist Church; and also to the east past the Sheriff’s office and the back of the courthouse, and proceed partially down the next block, stopping approximately in front of the post office.

The project will also then go up Liberty Street, continuing north until it comes to Turnpike Street at the base of Vevay Hill. It will then go west on Turnpike Street until it comes to the ditch that comes off of the hill on the west side of Ron and Lorrie Otter’s house.

“It’s going to pick up part of that water,” Kirk Works said. “When the water comes off of that hill and it gets so fast or so deep or so much force, half of it will be diverted into the new system. That way, instead of going down Ferry Street where it’s been washing out the street, it’s going to take it down this new pipe and take it all the way to the river.”

Kirk Works said that the biggest part of the project is the 48-inch pipe that will be installed south of Market Street, up the middle of Main Cross Street, all the way to Pike Street. From there, the pipe will get smaller as it goes towards the hillside.

“There’s also little feeders coming off of this all around,” Kirk Works said. “But this is the main part of the project.”

Kirk Works said that it is the understanding the town council that the project is going to start at the southern point near the river and work back towards the hillside, and that work is expected to start in early June.

“These streets are definitely going to be torn up,” Kirk Works said of the process. “We’re probably going to have to move the Farmers Market. We’re going to have to warn the Baptist Church, because these streets are probably going to have to be closed for a period of time, because this is a huge pipe.”

Kirk Works said that Main Street (State Road 56) will not be impacted during the work because workers are going to bore under the highway, allowing normal traffic to continue.

“That’s going to be a massive bore,” Kirk Works said. “I think it’s going to be like a 60-inch bore, so that’s massive. That’s the biggest piece of it.”

Along with the major portion of the project, there are also 16 smaller projects, spread all over the town, that will be improved. Some of those projects are as simple as cleaning out culverts, while others will see the installation of pipes and storm heads similar to those already in place on East Seminary Street.

Another big part of the project will be along Seminary Street in front of the old shoe factory and fairgrounds. The work will fill in the large ditch that runs along there, installing a large pipe to carry the water but eliminating the ditch, making the area easier for mowing and maintenance.

“Some of the work is minor, but all together it will help with storm water issues all over town,” Kirk Works said.

Kirk Works said that the town council has held some of the grant money back in reserve in the event that issues would come up during the construction process; but the council also included some alternates in the bid packages that could be added to the project if funds aren’t needed elsewhere.

“We may not be able to do them all,” Kirk Works said of the alternates. “It depends on if we have to get into moving gas lines and sewer lines. You’re obviously going to have to move some things, but if we don’t have to spend as much, then there will be more money left over to do smaller projects.”

Kirk Works noted that the grant is not a matching grant, but the town council did include $175,000 of its own money in the grant application as an enticement for the state to award a grant here. Council members Tye Sullivan, Kirk Works, and Jamie Hayes thought it was important to show the state that the town was willing to invest its own funds in trying to solve the storm water problems.

The town will also be hiring an observer/inspector to oversee the entire project and represent the town’s interests while the program is ongoing.

The entire project is expected to take 9-12 months to complete, but Kirk Works noted that in less than nine months the area will be back into winter weather, so it may take longer. He also noted that the paving of the areas dug up by the project will be the final step in wrapping things up.

“We’re doing this to improve drainage and backup water standing,” Kirk Works said. “Not every area of town is going to be improved, but several are. We’re trying to get as much for the grant money as we can.”