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Ishpeming Announces $16 Million Sewer Infrastructure Project

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Ishpeming, Mich., September 15, 2023 – The City of Ishpeming today announced a more than $16 million sewer infrastructure project that will include a combination of several components of the City Sanitary Sewer Infrastructure. The City plans to substantively address many of the items covered within the application process, including sewer main replacement, installation of a redundant main and necessary upgrades to the lift stations to provide a long-term solution to its aging infrastructure. 

Once authorized by the Michigan Department of Energy, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), a Notice to Proceed can be issued to the contractor. The overall timeline allows for the project to be completed no later than December 31, 2026. Construction is likely to begin in the spring of 2024 with items being purchased and delivered, and site plans, milestones and other planning activities occurring this fall and winter.

“This infrastructure project will go a long way toward addressing many sewer system components, including the main line which consists of vitrified clay pipes, improving the functionality of our lift stations and installing additional sewer main adding redundancy for emergencies and reducing groundwater infiltration. These are long-term lifecycle replacements on a system that is currently more than 70 years old, and address challenges for the community,” said Ishpeming city manager Craig Cugini. “These improvements should limit additional strain on the system during high water events, as well as limiting the excess water flow to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.”

The project includes $8.025 million in grant funding through the American Rescue Plan and an $8.025 million bond from EGLE through federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) funding. 

Through the project, approximately 25,000 feet of sewer main will be replaced or rehabilitated. To mitigate community impact, the City will require that any roads undergoing work are repaved before winter, as well as ensure contractors adhere to the City’s “dig once” policy, allowing any other necessary underground work to be performed parallel to prevent cutting through pavement and dirt multiple times. “Dig once” benefits include long-term cost savings, efficient use of resources and reduced burden on residents near a work site. 

This project should make meaningful progress on outstanding infrastructure needs, including:

  • Installation of new PVC pipe via open cut throughout the city
  • Reinforcing existing pipes located in wetlands, the Carp River and other sewers where open cut is impractical
  • Backup generators and pump replacements for all eight lift stations
  • A new, 30-inch diameter Carp River sewer crossing installed via directional drilling that will provide a redundant crossing, which is critical in times of high water and heavy flow

The City plans on sharing more specific details around the project’s scope in the coming weeks. Once a Notice to Proceed is obtained, and a more firm timeline is developed, the City will provide regular communication to residents on the project’s status and potential impacts.

The City has enrolled two companies that are either headquartered or located locally to assist with this undertaking. The contractor for the project is Payne and Dolan, which has an office in Ishpeming, and the engineer is U.P. Engineers and Architects, which is based in Ishpeming.

About Ishpeming

The City of Ishpeming is located in Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is home to about 6,600 residents. Boasting a rich mining heritage, creative small businesses, dozens of miles of trails and many outdoor amenities, and a community-centric culture, Ishpeming is a wonderful place to live, work, and play. During 2023, Ishpeming is proud to celebrate its sesquicentennial birthday, honoring the past 150 years and looking ahead to a bright future. To learn more about Ishpeming, visit 


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