Lewiston, Idaho, Reaches Significant Milestone in Water Treatment Plant Reliability

Design and preconstruction of retrofit project to begin shortly following the appointment of design-build entity

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The City of Lewiston, Idaho, has reached a significant milestone on its path to maintaining and enhancing water services in order to keep up with growth in the area. Following a robust procurement strategy developed by Brown and Caldwell with support from J-U-B Engineers, the city recently selected IMCO General Construction as the design-builder to design and construct a retrofit water treatment plant project.

“Upgrading our water treatment infrastructure is key to providing uninterrupted, essential water service to our customers, extending the design service life of existing facilities, and planning for future growth,” says City of Lewiston Engineering Project Supervisor Alannah Bailey. “To achieve this, Brown and Caldwell defined a procurement strategy that allowed us to collaborate with design-build respondents in a meaningful way, ahead of selection.”

This $27.5 million project is an important investment for the community. It was made possible by a majority decision of voters in the May 2019 City of Lewiston Revenue Bond Election, allowing the city to borrow funds to make improvements to the water treatment system. In 2019, the Lewiston City Council also approved the Water System Facility Plan, which recommended upgrading or replacing the 1924-built Lewiston Water Treatment Plant and subsequently decided to use a progressive design-build delivery approach for the project to get early interaction between design engineers and contractors. Retrofitting of the aging water treatment plant is required to reliably and safely meet community drinking water needs for the next 20-40 years.

The procurement approach began with comprehensive market sounding to confirm viability with interested proposers and industry leaders. Following the shortlisting of qualified teams, the city used an innovative proposal workshop concept to advance technical concepts. Each shortlisted team participated in workshops targeted at developing its preferred and backup project concepts through feedback from the city. This ensured the city understood the proposed concepts and allowed it to experience each team’s approach to collaboration.

“We were able to get a true sense of each team’s capabilities and concepts through this unique procurement approach,” Bailey says. “More than anything, it has set the project on an early, positive path and given the city the confidence to move forward with an innovative technical concept proposed by IMCO.”

Anticipated for completion by the spring of 2023, the existing facility will be largely demolished and a new membrane treatment plant will be constructed with the flexibility to deliver up to 10 mgd.

“Our team congratulates the City of Lewiston on successfully entering the next phase of this important water treatment project to maintain and enhance essential water service to its customers for future generations,” says Brown and Caldwell’s Gus Hrncir.


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