The City of Ely is one of the fastest growing communities in Iowa. In order to keep up with that growth, and to encourage additional growth, the City decided to extend water main to the north end of the City. After some analysis, it was decided to provide a closed loop on the north end of the City to provide adequate pressure and flows to the north end of the City and to future growth areas. This water main loop required nearly 13,000 lineal feet of water main to be installed.
The project extended water main along State Street from the existing end of the main to the north to Mabie Road. The main was then extended to the east along Mabie Road to Jappa Road and then south along Jappa Road to the end of the main near the water tower. The portion of the main along most of Mabie Road and Jappa Road was located outside of city limits and required coordination and permitting with the Linn County Secondary Roads Department. It is anticipated that these areas will be annexed into Ely within the next few years.
MMS prepared an initial preliminary design report in August 2017 outlining the potential future growth areas which could be served by water and sewer extensions into the northern areas of Ely. The preliminary design report included estimated costs and options for where to stop the extensions. This report was used to determine how the projects would be funded and to inform the citizens of Ely about the need for these projects. Several public forums were held in which MMS attended and helped answer questions from citizens. This project was funding using a General Obligation Bond along with a few other projects.
MMS entered into an agreement with the City of Ely for final design engineering, surveying and bidding services for this project in September 2018. We performed the topographic and ROW/boundary survey work, including utility locates and mapping. From that survey work, the base mapping and topographic information were prepared. Then we began preparing construction plans and specifications for bidding. The project had a letting in May of 2019.
There were a few challenges with the design of this project, mostly due to shallow bedrock located along the projected water main route. The contract included items for directional boring through rock and rock excavation for open cut with estimated quantities based on known locations. Additional challenges included providing services to existing buildings within the City limits, locating hydrants and valves along the roadways so they are accessible but also away from traffic, boring under existing cross road culverts and maintaining access to properties while installing water mains through driveways.
Construction began late in the fall of 2019 and continued into the winter. The contractor encountered some additional areas of shallow bedrock but existing bid items and unit prices for rock excavation were utilized for this work. Work was suspended through the winter and began again in spring of 2020. Water services were installed along with final grading and seeding.