DOBSON — Shovels may be in the ground this summer on the much-anticipated Interstates Sewer Project, but that’s going to require the stars to align, County Manager Chris Knopf told the Board of Commissioners recently.
During an update on the project, Knopf said new figures are available that include combining the existing project with a gravity-fed system that will include serving Gentry Middle School, North Surry High School and the businesses adjacent to the two schools.
“We’re looking at a combined total of $4,977,900, and that includes the gravity system, the force main system and the system that would be put in place between the two schools,” he said.
The new figures and time line are the result of upheaval at the county’s former engineering firm, Hobbs Upchurch & Associates, where the county’s engineer and grant writer departed the firm earlier this year.
Following their departure, the county agreed to change engineering firms, choosing to use Virginia-based Adams Heath, with whom the county has had a previous relationship.
The project is designed to supply sewer service down N.C. 89 in the hopes that it could spur economic development.
Mount Airy has pledged $1 million to the project, provided the county uses the combined gravity and force main system.
Knopf said he expects to further update the board during its meeting Monday night and is expecting the commissioners to adopt the new schedule.
“Assuming the schedule is adopted, we’re looking to put it out to bid in May, with possible construction beginning in the summer, but that assumes all the other pieces fall into place,” he said.
The county will be presenting the tentative schedule and new costs to Mount Airy prior to Monday’s meeting.
“The schedule is important because we have a lot of questions about the time frame,” Knopf said. “What’s extending it is the design of the new gravity systems around the two schools on 89, and the permitting process which could take several months.
“This could go fairly well or it could take a little longer, but these are pretty realistic dates,” he added.
At issue is whether all pieces fall into place to make the schedule workable.
“The project schedule hinges on each item on our list,” Knopf said. “The next thing we’ll have to consider is for the board to authorize the engineers to move forward with the final design.”
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.