PROVIDENCE – At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the Narragansett Bay Commission broke ground on a part of Phase II of its combined sewer overflow abatement project, at the Rite Aid parking lot at 80 Manton Ave. in Providence.
The commission completed Phase I of the project in 2008.
The centerpiece of Phase I was a three-mile long tunnel, 300 feet underground, capable of capturing and delivery 65 million gallons of sewage to the Field’s Point Wastewater Treatment Facility.
According to the commission, since 2008, more than 4.5 billion gallons of sanitary sewage and stormwater have passed through the tunnel to receive treatment at the Field’s Point facility.
“Water quality in upper Narragansett Bay has improved dramatically and the project is undeniably one of the most successful clean water and public health accomplishments in the history of Rhode Island,” said the NBC release.
Phase II of the combined sewer overflow abatement project is intended to bring more storm-related flow to the Phase I tunnel for Field’s Point treatment. It is the largest Phase II project, with the intent to connect the Wonnasquatucket River CSO Interceptor to the Phase I tunnel.
The commission made the decision to break Phase II into thirteen discrete construction contracts so “our local Rhode Island companies have a greater opportunity to take part,” said the release announcing the groundbreaking.
According to the commission, this construction contract is the largest of the Phase II and is “helping to create good jobs for a green economy.”
Vincent Mesolella, chairman of the Narragansett Bay Commission, was joined by Raymond Marshall, the commission’s executive director, Michael Sabitoni, president of the R.I. Building and Construction Trades Council, Bonnie Nickerson of the Providence Planning Department and R.I. Sen. Dominick Ruggierio, among others.