The state PennWorks program has awarded a $2 million grant for the Altoona Water Authority's $6.5-million Pleasant Valley sewer line project.
Pennvest had previously committed to lending $6.5 million at low interest to fund the project.
The PennWorks grant means the authority won't need to pay back about a third of the total cost, observed Mark Glenn, consulting engineer with Gwin Dobson & Foreman.
PennWorks - a program of the Department of Community and Economic Development - funds water and sewer projects not used solely for residential purposes, according to the program website.
The Pleasant Valley project, part of a state Department of Environmental Protection mandate, will help eliminate wet-weather overflows from sanitary lines in areas that include many commercial enterprises.
Last week, the authority authorized Gwin to advertise for bids.
The ads should be ready by the second week of December, Glenn said.
"Now is a good time," said authority General Manager Mark Perry, referring to the coming of winter, when contractors may have few potential jobs to choose from and are thus inclined to bid low.
"This is a good job for a year," Glenn said.
Because it's a complicated project, the ads may allow up to 60 days for bids to be submitted and reviewed and a contract awarded.
The project includes installation of more than two miles of supplementary lines between 17th Street and Llyswen, a pump station near Health South Rehabilitation Hospital and repairs to the authority's two combined sewer overflows.
The CSO problems include corrosion from chlorine.
The project will require drilling to slide pipe under the entrance to Health South, Pleasant Valley Boulevard, Union Avenue and Logan Boulevard, according to authority in-house engineer Mike Sinisi.
It will require encasement of pipes in concrete at two points under Mill Run creek.
And it will involve night work to minimize disruption to businesses like Courtesy Motor Sales and Value City Furniture, according to Sinisi.
The cost of the project includes engineering for Pleasant Valley and for a sewer line project that is ongoing in the 58th Street area of Eldorado.
The authority will need to obtain appraisals on six properties along the Pleasant Valley route with whose owners it
hasn't been able to settle yet, according to Perry.
The authority will hire Clyde E. Yon & Associates, the only responder to requests for proposals sent to several potential contractors.
Yon will charge a base price of $21,000, with a potential discount.
Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.