Construction ahead of schedule for trash transfer station

Boulder Construction workers install rebar for the concrete foundation of the truck pit at the new solid waste transfer station Tuesday in Cape Girardeau. Concrete was poured for the first push-walls of the facility earlier in the day. (Fred Lynch)

Two months after the groundbreaking ceremony, Cape Girardeau public works officials say construction of the new transfer station is ahead of schedule.

For more than five years, a new transfer station has been high on the city's list of capital-improvements projects.

But it wasn't until an agreement with Republic Services the city could make the project happen. The pact was formally approved by the city council in December.

Republic will haul solid waste from the city's transfer station to its landfill. The company's hauling operation and the processing of all its solid waste will move to the new city-owned and operated transfer station. Revenue generated from the solid waste processed by the city from Republic's hauling operation, in addition to lease payments from the company for using city-owned facilities, will help provide revenue for the project.

Republic will close its Fruitland facility once it begins bringing the trash it collects from residents and businesses around Cape Girardeau County to the new Cape Girardeau transfer station.

Boulder Construction workers install rebar for the concrete foundation of the truck pit at the new solid waste transfer station Tuesday in Cape Girardeau. Concrete was poured for the first push-walls of the facility earlier in the day. (Fred Lynch)

Special obligation bonds and casino revenue also fund the project.

The process continued in January as the council approved an agreement with Cambridge Companies Inc. for professional and construction management services for the project. The groundbreaking took place Aug. 10 after several months of planning and design. Days before that event, the council approved a guaranteed maximum price for the project of $3,812,614.

"It's going exceptionally well. They're actually a little bit ahead of their original schedule," assistant public works director Stan Polivick said of the construction. "The weather's been really good, of course, but to their credit, they've taken advantage of that."

He said Cambridge assembled "what appears to be a very capable team," and all parties involved in the project are pleased with progress so far.

Much of the site work is finished, and Polivick said work begins this week to put up some of the first walls.

The transfer station is placed on what was an empty grassy patch of land near the new wastewater treatment facility on Corporate Circle. Polivick said the location off Southern Expressway is much more accessible for the city, residents and Republic than at the existing transfer station in the 2500 block of South Sprigg Street, near the Mississippi River.

Moving to Corporate Circle means no more worries about flooding or navigating around gaping sinkholes that have closed part of South Sprigg Street.

"I'll be delighted when we don't have to drive around that," Polivick said.

During the groundbreaking, Cambridge representatives said the goal was to finish construction about April 1. Polivick said everything remains on track to meet that goal. Barring any serious weather delays, the facility should be open next spring.

The new transfer station is a more modern facility that can keep up with the latest standards and technologies, he said. It will be much more reliable than the existing station, which suffers from frequent problems with its scales.

"It's really a big step forward for Cape," Polivick said. "To have done it in as short a time frame as we have done it is really a compliment to the whole group that's worked on this."

Another benefit of the new station is its capability for expansion. Not only is there more room for expansion there, but the facility being built can handle more trash per day.

Polivick said the city estimates the facility initially will process 100 to 200 tons of solid waste per day.

"The permit is written where we could go up to 400 tons per day," he said. "Maybe 10 years or so from now we could get up there, who knows? But we have room to grow under the permit."

Last year, more than 23,000 tons of trash and materials were brought to the existing transfer station to be hauled to landfills, according to the city.

In addition to trash collected from the city's curbside residential trash pickup, the facility served more than 9,000 customers. Additional hauls from Republic are expected to increase those numbers.

srinehart@semissourian.com

(573) 388-3641

Pertinent address:

2007 Southern Expressway, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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