Work downtown to separate storm drains and sewer starts Monday

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Construction in downtown Niles will become a familiar sight throughout the spring and summer as work begins on the combine sewer overflow project next week.
The project will separate the storm drain and sewer systems. This project will eliminate the possibility of overflows into the St. Joseph River and the unnecessary treatment of stormwater at the wastewater treatment plant.
The $650,000 project is scheduled to finish up in mid-June and is not expected to have any impact on this summer's streetscape project.
City officials announced the project will officially begin on Monday at the intersection on Front and Sycamore streets. The project will proceed up Front Street to Main and then move from Second to Fourth streets between Sycamore and Main streets.
Niles Public Works Director Neil Coulston said short term detours may be necessary to facilitate pipe installation from one side of the street to the other and complete street closures remain a possibility if unforeseen problems are encountered, but it is the goal of the city and the contractor to keep all of the streets open throughout the project.
Coulston anticipates that traffic will be maintained in some capacity on all of the streets where the construction is being performed.
It is expected that traffic will continue in both directions of Front Street at all times, while the other streets may have only one way traffic at times.
The combined sewer overflow project will be completed by the Allegan-based Harglo Construction.
Harglo project manager Loren Berens said they will be working with the city to ensure as little disruption as possible.
Coulston said parking may be prohibited along the construction areas for up to three weeks per block, but that the contractor is to maintain pedestrian access to businesses as well as vehicular access to parking lots at all times.

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