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Archive for December 24th, 2008

wish list

The City of Amsterdam has assembled a project summary list of capital projects to upgrade the City’s infrastructure. They are critical for the proper and essential operations of the City. All of these projects are advanced to the point that they can be completed in the 2009 construction season if funding becomes available in the proposed Obama Stimulus Package. This list has been forwarded to Senator Chuck Schumer to present in the new year.


City of Amsterdam, NY – Priority Capital Improvement Projects
December 23, 2008

1. Water Distribution System Improvements

According to an earlier engineering report, approximately 65 miles of cast iron water mains exist in the City of Amsterdam. Many of the aging waterlines are in extremely poor condition, limiting the hydraulic capability of fire flow to various sections of the City. Additionally, many lines dead end, causing poor water quality – a public health concern. Due to the age of this system, it is reasonable to assume that at least 50% of the system is in need of replacement. It is proposed that new waterlines be installed in deficient areas throughout the City. In addition, approximately 30 hydrants are in immediate need of replacement and are currently out of service. The cost for this amount of water line replacement is estimated at $21.5 Million. Immediate repairs as outlined above are necessary to provide proper fire safety and for public health of our community.

2. City of Amsterdam Sanitary Sewer Line Improvements
Most sections of the sewer infrastructure serving the City were built in the early 1900’s. The vast majority of the sanitary sewer lines are constructed with vitrified clay pipe, which has joints every two feet. The close proximity of rock to the ground surfaces means that much of the sanitary sewer trenches are in rock and would collect groundwater that can enter the joints as they open up over time. Leaking joints have significant impact on the aging structure, allowing infiltration and inflow (I/I) into the sanitary sewer system. This in turn affects the City’s wastewater treatment capability. The City is under consent order with DEC to identify and reduce the amount of I/I that enters the sewer system. The City WWTP records base sewage flow rates that are more than double the expected flow rate based on population, due to the large amount of I/I to the system. It is recommended that the sections of the deteriorated clay tile sewer system be replaced with modern, properly installed sewer lines. Rehabilitation of only 5% of the system (3 miles of the most compromised line) is expected to cost approximately $6-8 Million.

3. Water Transmission Main/Air Relief Valve Access Improvements
The fourteen mile transmission line that runs from the Glen Wild Raw Water Reservoir to the City Water Filtration Plant is over 100 years old. While most of the 24-inch transmission line appears to be in good structural condition, there are various improvements that are necessary to protect the integrity and essential operation of the single transmission line that feeds the City of Amsterdam and surrounding towns with potable water. Sections of the main are located underneath creeks and/or wetlands, making repair work impossible. These sections should be realigned outside the difficult access areas. New line valves should be installed at strategic locations in accordance with modern waterworks standards to facilitate emergency repairs. Access along the route of the main in remote areas should be improved so that repairs crews can gain quick access. Many air valves should be replaced. The total cost is estimated to be $2 Million.

4. Raw Water Source Improvements
In the early 1970’s, one of the existing raw water reservoirs was abandoned when the dam failed. This dam, referred to as Cook’s Dam, served as a valuable component in the pretreatment of the City of Amsterdam’s potable water system. It is proposed that the Cook’s Dam be rebuilt to restore the reservoir. The total cost estimate for the dam replacement is $3 Million. Dredging of Ireland Vly Reservoir is also necessary to improve the quality of the City’s main raw water source. The estimated cost for dredging the bottom five feet of the reservoir is $4 Million.

5. Storm Water System Improvements
The Dove Creek retaining wall has collapsed and needs to be replaced. Excessive storm water from the Town of Amsterdam flows through Dove Creek as it makes its way to the Mohawk River. Currently, the banks have severely eroded and are undermining the foundations of several commercial and residential buildings. Funds are needed to avoid an emergency situation. In 2004, a study was conducted by McDonald Engineering and funding was sought to replace the retaining walls. The estimated cost of the project is $1.6 Million. Other storm water improvements are necessary in this section of the City, particularly in the Henrietta Avenue catchment area, which drains upland areas of the Town of Amsterdam. The estimated cost for these improvents is $1.4 Million.

6. National Grid/Bridge Street Underground Utility Project
Extensive improvements will be made to Bridge Street on Amsterdam’s South Side this coming Spring. New curbing, lighting, and blacktop will improve the aesthetic character of this historic neighborhood and inspire commercial and residential revitalization. To truly meet this goal, we must also bury utility lines. The estimated cost for burying the National Grid Utilities is $1 Million.

7. Extension of Water and Sewer Service – City’s South Side
The City of Amsterdam may have the opportunity to develop property on the south side of the City in the Route 30 area near the Thruway interchange. Water and sewer only extend to the north side of the thruway in this area. It is proposed that water and sewer be extended under the thruway to inspire potential commercial and residential development. A study was completed in 2006 by McDonald Engineering which estimated the cost of this project to be $1.2 Million. This figure could easily reach $1.5 Million today.

8. New DPW Facility
It is proposed that the existing DPW Facility, which was built during WPA’s, be replaced with a modern, efficient DPW Facility at a new, central location in the City. Based on similar building projects, the cost for a new building is estimated at $6-8 Million.

Total cost of projects: $49 Million

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