Redundant Force Main Construction Project – Pump Station 16 to Cross Bayou Water Reclamation Facility

Project Location

The Redundant Force Main Project route goes along Park Boulevard from Pump Station 16 to 84th Lane, where it turns south to Park Street. It continues south along Park Street to 62nd Avenue North then heads east, ending at the South Cross Bayou Water Reclamation Facility.

Project Overview

Pinellas County is committed to delivering first-class services to the public by investing in infrastructure. The Redundant Force Main Project replaces aging infrastructure for reliable wastewater service. This new 3.4-mile force main will carry wastewater from Pump Station 16 to the county’s South Cross Bayou Water Reclamation Facility.

Anticipated Construction Schedule

Construction will begin in April 2020. The project is expected to be completed in Summer 2021. The contractor will work 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, however some night and weekend work may be required. Key construction timeframes are:

  • Park Boulevard: Summer 2020 – Spring 2021
  • 84th Lane North: Fall 2020
  • Park St. North: Fall – Winter 2020
  • South Cross Bayou Facility: Fall 2020 – Summer 2021
  • Westchester/Joe’s Creek Canal Crossing: Summer 2021

The schedule will vary by location, weather conditions, soil conditions and construction method.

Maintaining Traffic

A maintenance-of-traffic plan will keep drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians safely moving through the area. The contractor will work in the median along Park Boulevard, requiring the inside eastbound and inside westbound lanes be closed in the construction zone. Traffic impacts will be minimized by:

  • Closing lanes only in the construction zone.
  • Tunneling under major intersections and waterways.
  • Requiring night work for key pipeline connections.

All detours and lane closures will be clearly marked and message boards will be used to keep residents informed. There will be alternative pathways if sidewalks or bicycle lanes are affected.

Project Funding

Engineering services for the project cost approximately $1.7 million. The total construction cost is approximately $15.3 million. The project is funded through the county’s sewer enterprise fund. No tax dollars are used for this infrastructure improvement project.

Project Contact

There are various ways you can stay informed about the project, including:

You can also report concerns through the Pinellas County app or by visiting the Pinellas County website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Redundant Force Main Project?

The Pinellas County Redundant Force Main project is a new 3.4-mile pipeline that will replace an existing 20-inch wastewater force main that serves the Seminole/Pinellas Park area. The new 36-inch diameter force main will transport wastewater from Pump Station 16, located near the corner of Park and Seminole boulevards, to the county’s South Cross Bayou Water Reclamation Facility on 54th Avenue North. It will be installed along Park Boulevard from Pump Station 16 to 84th Lane, where it turns south to Park Street. It continues along Park Street to 62nd Avenue North, heading east until the South Cross Bayou Water Reclamation Facility.

Why is the project necessary?

Pinellas County’s existing 20-inch force main in the Seminole area is more than 50 years old and has failed twice in the last nine years. Replacing the force main will not only protect public health and environment, but make the system more reliable and flexible operationally.

What do you mean by “redundant?”

The new force main will include valves and connections to another force main in the area. This way, all flows can be routed to either pipeline if one is out of service.

Will you be excavating to install the new force main or will you be tunneling?

Most of the pipeline will be installed in open, excavated trenches. In some areas, the contractor will use trenchless construction to tunnel under major intersections and waterways.  For example, the contractor will tunnel under Lake Seminole/Long Bayou, the intersection of Park Boulevard and Starkey/Park Street, and under Joe’s Creek Bayou using horizontal directional drilling. Horizontal directional drilling enables pipeline construction without disrupting above-ground features.

Will you coordinate the traffic lights on Park Boulevard during construction?

Yes. Traffic flow and signals will be an important part of the maintenance-of-traffic plan.

Are you tearing up the intersection of Park Boulevard and Starkey/Park Street?

No. Major intersections and water bodies will be crossed with by a trenchless construction technique that tunnels underneath these features.

What about school buses and public transportation?

We will coordinate closely with Pinellas County School Board, Pinellas County Transit Authority, first responders and other emergency services before construction begins to ensure these services are not interrupted.

What construction would occur at night or on weekends?

Some work along Park Boulevard will likely be done at night or on weekends to minimize traffic impacts. Weekend work may be requested by the contractor and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Will the open trench be secured at night? How will you assure safety during non-working hours?

Safety is a priority for the county and the contractor. The construction zone will be clearly marked and barricaded during the day. At night, open trenches will either be covered with metal plates or surrounded with barriers.

I live along the pipeline route. What can I expect during construction?

Many areas along the pipeline route must be dewatered before construction begins and continue during construction. Dewatering involves installing small, shallow wells at regular intervals along the route and connecting the wells to a pump. That generator that must run 24 hours a day, seven days a week to remove water from the ground.

In residential areas, the contractor will use sound-attenuated pumps and will try to place equipment away from homes to minimize noise. You may hear noise from heavy equipment during active construction hours, and there may be lane closures or detours in the construction zone.

When you dewater an area, where does the water go?

The water will be discharged into nearby stormwater sewers. It will likely be filtered to remove debris before it is disposed. The contractor must obtain a permit to dispose of water removed from the construction area.

How long will you be in front of my neighborhood?

Construction duration will vary by location, depending on weather conditions, soil conditions and whether the force main is being installed in open cut trench or by horizontal directional drilling. Open cut installation usually moves at a rate of approximately 80 feet per day, plus three days per intersection. The duration of a directional drill varies with the length of the drill. A directional drill under a typical waterway or major intersection usually takes approximately four to five weeks to complete.

Will there be vibration?

The project does not require the use of vibratory hammers or pile drivers, so any vibration is expected to be minor. Some vibration from the machinery may be felt in nearby homes and businesses. The contractor will take pre- and post-construction photos and videos to document private property should any claims be made.

When did the County select this route and what criteria was used to select it?

Pinellas County began the Redundant Force Main Project in 2016 with a route analysis of four potential routes. They were evaluated using factors like safety, environment, permitting, location of other utilities, constructability, cost, traffic impacts, community input and more.

Each route option was evaluated using weighted selection criteria, including community input. The selected route has the least impact to Park Boulevard, has fewer special crossings, takes advantage of wide rights-of-way along the southern portions of the route and is the least costly.

How long will the new force main last?

The life expectancy of the new force main is 50 years or more.

Are you doing improvements to Pump Station 16 as part of this project?

The county finished installing a new odor control system at Pump Station 16 in early 2020. No further improvements will be made as part of the Redundant Force Main Project.

Are you doing improvements to Pump Station 16 as part of this project?

The county finished installing a new odor control system at Pump Station 16 in early 2020. No improvements will be made to the pump station as part of the Redundant Force Main Project.

What will happen with the old force main?

The old 20-inch force main cannot be used. It will be filled with a grout material and left in place.

Will you be running reclaimed water lines as part of this project?

No. The county’s reclaimed system is at capacity and cannot serve additional customers at this time.

Will this project increase my utility bill?

No. Funds for this project are available in the county’s sewer enterprise fund, which is an account financed through sewer rates paid by county customers. The enterprise fund recovers the cost of sewage collection and treatment through each customer’s sewer bill. Your monthly bill includes charges for treatment, capital costs to cover any existing bonds issued to build facilities, as well as renewal, replacement and rehabilitation costs to keep the system reliable and efficient.

Who is doing the work?

Pinellas County selected Southern Underground Industries through a competitive bidding process.

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