A portion of South First Street in Hermiston will be closed for several weeks starting Feb. 4.

The bridge over the canal between Southeast Crestline Drive and Southwest Desert Sky Drive, about a mile south of the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, is expected to be closed for about 45 days while contractors replace it. Signs will warn of the impending detour starting Feb. 1.

According to a news release from the city, the existing canal crossing is "approaching the end of its useful life" and will be replaced by a significantly wider box culvert.

Replacement of the bridge has been one of the top capital improvement goals for the city since 2017. During Monday's city council meeting, the council plans to award a bid for another capital priority: replacing 650 feet of sewer line along Southeast Seventh Street between Main Street and Newport Avenue.

According to a memo in the council's agenda packet, the size and condition of the current eight-inch diameter pipe presents risks from continued development on the south side of the city and "has been such a concern for surcharging in to homes in the area that city crews have installed temporary bypass pumping here for the past two years during the Umatilla County Fair."

The council will consider a bid of $132,595 from Sineco Construction of Hermiston. The project would be the first phase in a larger pipe up-sizing plan that is expected to total about $600,000. 

On Monday the city council will consider adoption of a capital improvement master plan for water, sewer and streets that the city's infrastructure committee has been working on with staff for more than a year. The five-year plan lists and prioritizes the city's most-needed improvements to its 83 miles of water main, 72 miles of sewer pipes and 161 "lane miles" of roadway.

Projects in the proposed document, which city staff anticipate could be funded and completed by the end of the 2023-2014 fiscal year, have been narrowed down to $4.4 million in water projects, $6.5 million in sewer projects and $7.95 million in street projects, with more than $20 million additional projects listed in the appendices as possible additions should funding come available. 

The city council meets at 7 p.m. Monday at city hall, 180 N.E. Second St.

News Editor

Hermiston Herald news editor and reporter covering city government and economic development in Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield and Echo.

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