College Station sewer line discussions move away from creek option, costs presented

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 10:52 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - A College Station City Council meeting Thursday night gave one Bryan neighborhood a sigh of relief. But, one other Bryan neighborhood says they’re ready to keep up the fight.

The issue at hand is where a sewer line will be placed. College Station staff say the line is needed to service growth near Texas A&M’s campus. Presented Thursday were three options, two gravity line options that would be built in Bryan or a lift station that would be connected to an existing College Station sewer line. Pin Oak Creek and Rosemary Drive, both located in Bryan, are where staff looked for the gravity lines, but they decided to not recommend the creek option. This was echoed by the council, who after hearing the recommendation said that option would be foolish.

Neighbors in that area are thankful they no longer have to worry about their homes being flooded.

“I’m just so glad that clarity came and so as someone who was worried about the flooding issue council really made it clear to staff they saw it, there were aware and reacted by taking the creek option off the table,” James Mulvey, a Vine Street resident, said.

But, Mulvey said he isn’t done fighting for his neighbors on Rosemary Drive. This is located in the historic Beverly Estates and was discussed at length by city staff and council members as a viable option. But, residents living in the subdivision see it otherwise.

“They somewhat framed it tonight to make it sound like oh this is the only way, this is what we need to do, we need to go down rosemary. It’s just real disappointing, really disappointing,” Mary Linne, a Beverly Estates resident, said.

The last option discussed was a lift station. This is one that city staff has maintained was not the focus due to cost. This would be added infrastructure to the Hensel Park lift station, and connect to an already existing sewer line on Cooner Street. It would require some construction on Chimney Hill Drive, both are located in College Station.

Staff told council costs would be high to build and maintain the lift station option. When presenting all the options, the council and staff said they were encouraged by a method of construction called boring for both options which would mitigate damage to surrounding environments. Using this process, the cost for the gravity line on Rosemary Drive would be almost $19 million, with the lift station option around $23 million.

College Station staff also presented the current state of the partnership with Bryan. They showed two miles of Bryan sewer line in College Station, an example of Bryan substations located in College Station city limits and Bryan power lines that cross through the city.

Councilmember Bob Yancy asked staff about a 2019 conversation between College Station and Bryan staff. This had to do with Bryan having an interest in upgrading Rosemary Drive water lines at the same time College Station would be doing construction for the sewer line. Bryan confirmed to KBTX in February that Bryan expressed interest in mitigating construction on Rosemary Drive if College Station moves forward, but said they have no plans in place for this upgrade.