Boardman River Wall Stabilization Project

December 2, 2022

The first project of the City’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Five Year Project Plan will kick off on December 13, 2022. The Boardman River Wall Stabilization & Sewer Relocation Project will begin with work in the 200 block north alley on E. Front Street. The project will include wall stabilization along the Boardman River to protect a trunk line 24-inch sanitary sewer main that serves the entire west side of Traverse City and portions of Garfield and Elmwood Townships. The initial work in the 200 block alley will begin at Cass Street and continue east, toward Park Street. The project will be conducted in sections and is anticipated to be complete by early February 2023, weather pending. Traffic will be maintained in the alley, but may be disrupted when workers are present. Beginning in March 2023, work will be conducted on the river wall and railing with an anticipation of completion in May 2023.

In addition to the Boardman River wall stabilization, the relocation of the 24-inch sanitary sewer away from the river wall in the 100 block of E. Front Street is anticipated to begin in April 2023.

Over the past 25 years, conditions in the 100 & 200 block alley on E. Front Street along the Boardman River have deteriorated. Site inspections conducted in June 2021, noted significant soil subsidence and settling along the back of the retaining wall. Based on this field inspection, as well as a review of the original wall design and the results of a 2018 dive inspection, it was determined that the subsidence and settling were likely due to a loss of soil material (i.e. backfill) within about a 10-foot zone from the wall below the footing at various locations where the wall and footing were undermined. Engineers also noted that soil material loss was likely exacerbated by the high water level of the Great Lakes, which causes soil saturation and loss of consolidation of the backfill soils.

If the wall footing were to tip or move due to the lack of supporting soil beneath, it could cause a catastrophic failure of the sewer main allowing discharge directly into the Boardman River. Due to the critical nature of the 24-inch trunk line sewer, the project was identified to be the first in the CWSRF five year project plan. 

“Due to the significant and critical 24-inch sanitary sewer trunk line, we look forward to starting the CWRSF five year project plan with the Boardman River Wall Stabilization Project to improve our utility infrastructure and protect our natural waterways,” says Art Krueger, Department of Municipal Utilities Director.

The City submitted a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Project Plan in order to apply for low interest loan funding over the next 5 years. The Project Plan incorporated projects to address recommendations contained in the recent Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater System (SAW) Programs, and other engineering evaluations that were completed. These projects are important to ensure the sanitary collection system and Wastewater Treatment Plant operates properly. Projects to reduce Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) and Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) are also considered with the project plan. The total estimated cost of potential improvements is $28,734,260 over a 5 year period. In August 2022, the City approved up to $8 million in bonds for year one in drinking (DWSRF) and clean (CWSRF) water project plans. Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Boardman River Stabilization Project will total nearly $2,500,000 and will be funded with bonds through a State of Michigan program with low interest loan rates.

Boardman River Wall Stabilization & Sewer Relocation Project Updates

Clean Water & Drinking Water Project Plans