After bids to expand the Franklin’s water reclamation facility came in up to $15 million over budget, the city finally settled on a contractor to do the necessary expansion work.

At Tuesday night’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Kiewit Infrastructure South Company was awarded the $133 million contract for the facility expansion.

The company is based in Omaha, Nebraska, with their southeast division located in Peachtree City, Georgia.

According to their Bloomberg profile, the company handles projects including highways, airports, mass transit systems, canals, dams, pump stations, and tunnels, as well as grading, paving, excavation, and structures.

Ward 1 Alderman Bev Burger said Kiewit is a “great company,” and noted their top rankings.

According to the Engineering News-Record’s 2017 rankings, Kiewit was listed as the number 6 contractor in the nation. It was listed as the number one contractor for dams, reservoirs and water supplies in 2015.

The project’s total cost will be approximately $145 million. $11,677,396 of that will go towards CDM Smith for the construction administration, inspection services, and computerizing part of the facility’s system.

As the city continues to grow, the upgrades will allow for a 33 percent increase over the capacity that exists today.

City Administrator Eric Stuckey noted the city will receive a $100 million loan at an interest rate less than 2 percent.

Looking at the state’s revolving loan fund or revenue bonds are other funding options.

“I can say, our general sense is this is not going to have a significant impact on how we project our rates out,” Stuckey said.

Project outlook

The city’s facility is located 135 Claude Yates Drive, north of the Park at Harlinsdale Farm and south of Mack Hatcher Parkway.

The project will take three-and-a-half years, and temporary access will be allowed off Mack Hatcher crossing the walking trail at the wastewater property. Current operations at the facility will be maintained during the construction process.

Michelle Hatcher, the director of water management, said the new improvements will include phosphorus removal capacity, done through equalization basins, and upgrades to the reclaimed water pump station.

During large storms, the equalization basin will keep water from settling, thus reducing odors. New equipment will also be purchased for facility-wide odor control.

For solid wastes, Hatcher said the facility is constructing a new treatment train; waste will be treated to a Class A solid, allowing for additional disposal options.

The city currently trucks the waste to a landfill in Lewisburg, but the higher class solid will allow the city to use it for fertilizer.

Mark Hilty, the Assistant City Administrator for Public Works, said, “It’s the largest single project that the city’s ever done.”