Fox Farm Road closing next week for water main river crossing project
Beginning Aug. 12, a portion of Fox Farm Road will be closed as the city’s water main river crossing installation gets underway.
The first closure will be Fox Farm Road adjacent to Meadowlark Park and will run Aug. 12-28.
The city has contracted with HDD Company to install water main crossings under the upper Missouri River and the Sun River. The mains will be installed using the horizontal directional drill method.
The City Commission approved the $5.5 million contract with HDD Company during their July 16 meeting. The city received three bids for the project and HDD was the low bidder.
The project consists of installing water main utilizing both horizontal directional drill and open-cut methods of installation.
Using the HDD method, the company will install about 3,600 lineal feet of fused PVC 24- inch DR18 pipe under the Missouri River; 300 lineal feet of 42-inch steel casing pipe under BNSF railroad right-of-way; and 1,600 lineal feet of fused PVC 20-inch DR18 pipe under the Sun River. The open-cut method will be used to install about 1,600 lineal feet of 24-inch pipe and 1,200 lineal feet of 20-inch pipe.
“These two new crossings have been part of the long range master plan for the City of Great Falls water system since at least 2006. Funding has now become available to complete them,” Public Works Director Jim Rearden said in a release. “The two new river crossings will substantially increase the reliability of our system by providing redundancy to serve our citizens.”
The Fox Farm Road closure will allow the contract to connect the new 24-inch water main to the existing water main there.
As part of the project, Meadowlark Park will be closed in order to install new 24-inch piping from Alder Drive to Fox Farm Road. The park will also be used to accommodate a work site for the drilling operation and staging area for assembling the pipe needed to cross under Meadowlark County Club Golf Course and the Missouri River.
Rearden told City Commissioners on Tuesday that connecting to the existing water main is a critical first step for the project and has to be done before school starts but there will undoubtedly be traffic delays as a result.
The Montana Department of Transportation project at Exit 0 will further strain traffic in the area and Rearden asked the public for their patience.
To complete this project the the city is working in cooperation with different regulations and agencies including:
- City of Great Falls Flood Plain Permit
- Montana Land-Use Easement
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) – Utility Occupancy Permit
- Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
- Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF)
- Montana Historical Society
- Montana Department of Fish and Game (FWP)
- Montana Department of Natural Resource and Conservation (DNRC)
- Meadowlark Country Club (MLCC)
The project is being funded through the city’s water capital improvement fund.
In May, the commission awarded a $98,720 contract to Capcon LLC for the replacement of about 60 lineal feet of 30-inch water main across Upper River Road and the installation of about 40 lineal feet of new 24-inch water main along the east side of Upper River Road.
The project was the first phase of the river crossing project and included new pipe for a fire hydrant lead and a new fire hydrant.
The May project installed a 30-inch by 24-inch tee for future connection, according to public works.
“The timing of this project is crucial and needs to be done early in the season before the water demand for irrigation increases,” according to the May staff report from public works.
The city received four bids for this portion of the project. Those bids were opened on May 8 and ranged from $98,720 to $172,934. Capcon submitted the low bid.
This project is being funded through the Water Capital Improvement fund.
Last summer, the commission approved a $866,028 contract to Thomas Dean and Hoskins Engineering for the design phase of the water crossing project.
The project will also tear up some of Verde Park and a large portion of Meadowlark Park for staging and laying water mains that will be pulled under the river, according to the Park and Recreation department.
Last fall, TD&H contracted with Sletten Construction and O’Keefe Drilling to drill bore logs to determine the types of soil and rock and the depths they are encountered, both on land and in the river channels.
According to city documents, a new 24-inch fusible C905 PVC pipe will be designed for directionally drilled installation under the Missouri River from Verde Park to Meadowlark Park. Additional open trench pipe installation will be constructed through parks and city rights-of-way in order to complete connections to the existing distribution system.