Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 10, 2013

Walnut, Purdum to be closed three months for sewer project

Work starts on Monday on city's northeast side.

By Scott Smith
Tribune staff writer

— Traffic on Kokomo’s near northeast side will be disrupted this summer as work begins on a major sewer improvement.

Work crews will close a two-block stretch of Walnut Street and one block of Purdum Street, as well as the Walnut/Purdum intersection, for at least three months starting Monday.

Walnut, from Purdum to Delphos, will be closed to through traffic, although people who live along the street will still be able to get to and from their homes, and emergency vehicles will also have access.

Purdum, between Mulberry and Walnut streets, will be subject to the same restrictions, officials with West Lafayette-based Atlas Excavating announced Tuesday.

Atlas officials said they will keep the intersection at Purdum and Mulberry open during construction, as well as the intersection at Walnut and Delphos.

Work crews will be digging up parts of both Walnut and Purdum as part of a plan to keep contaminated stormwater runoff from entering the Wildcat Creek.

The city of Kokomo is trying to eliminate flows from a combined sewer overflow point, which dumps into the Wildcat from a point between the new Future Park and the OmniSource metals recycling center.

The city is in the midst of a 20-year plan to comply with the federal Clean Water Act. When completed around 2027, all of the work is expected to leave Kokomo with only five combined sewer overflow points, as compared to more than 30 when the city began eliminating CSOs.

Each year, millions of gallons of raw sewage mingles with storm water during rain events and the combined effluent flows untreated out of the combined sewer overflows, contaminating local waterways.

The city’s long-term control plan involves separating large combined sewers and rerouting the sanitary waste to the Kokomo Wastewater Treatment Plant.

During construction this summer, the intersection of Walnut and Purdum will be closed for an estimated four months.

Atlas was low bidder on the construction at $1.94 million. Indianapolis-based engineering firm American Structurepoint bid $380,665 for the design work on the project.

Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at scott.smith@kokomotribune.com