RiverRenew Reaches Key Milestones to Meet July 2025 Mandate
This summer was significant for RiverRenew, with the program moving along to meet an aggressive deadline that was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 2017. This mandate requires the City of Alexandria to resolve its combined sewer overflows by July 1, 2025. Staying on schedule throughout the program will be critical to meeting this goal.
Here’s what’s taken place in the last few months:
June 19, 2019: The RiverRenew Environmental Assessment (EA), developed in conjunction with the National Park Service (NPS), was released. The EA evaluated potential impacts to the environment, community, and cultural resources associated with the area affected by the program. The EA also included community feedback received during an initial public Scoping Period in Fall 2018.
The EA helped establish the preferred routing for the tunnel system, which includes:
Waterfront Tunnel: 12-foot-diameter tunnel that features an east-west alignment largely under Church Street and bends to the north under Jones Point Park, and then is mainly aligned under the Potomac River until it reaches Oronoco Bay
Outfall 001 Diversion Facility: located at the northeast corner of the Robinson Terminal North site
Outfall 002 Diversion Facility: located at Royal Street, just south of the entrance to Jones Point Park
Hooffs Run Interceptor: 6-foot-diameter open-cut sewer along Hooffs Run
The release of the EA was followed by a series of Community Listening Sessions and community meetings to present the findings and recommendations. During this time, the public had the opportunity to submit any further comments to the NPS through July 19, 2019.
June 25, 2019:
The City of Alexandria Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) for the tunnel system
was approved by Alexandria City Council following a public hearing.
September 14, 2019: The City of Alexandria Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) for the tunnel dewatering & wet weather pumping station at AlexRenew was approved by Alexandria City Council following a public hearing.
The final step in the EA process is the issuance of a decision document, anticipated for release this fall.
October 23, 2019:
Join us at the AlexRenew offices (1800 Limerick Street
) for a meeting of the RiverRenew Stakeholder Advisory Group.
Construction Begins at AlexRenew
RiverRenew construction is underway at AlexRenew’s 35-acre Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF). The following projects are necessary first steps before construction can begin on the tunnel system. Here’s a look at what’s happening:
- Demolition of AlexRenew’s former administrative building
- Construction of a new laboratory, chiller system, and control room in place of the administrative building
- Upgrades to the existing capacity of the plant’s primary treatment pumps
- Modifications to the plant’s site security and access to accommodate the flow of construction traffic
All of these projects are expected to be completed by March 2021 with minimal disruption to the community.
RiverRenew and Your City Council
To facilitate partnership and ensure the City Council remains informed about RiverRenew, the City Council–AlexRenew Board Combined Sewer Project Workgroup was created in June 2018. This group comprises Mayor Justin Wilson, Councilwoman Amy Jackson, AlexRenew Board Chair John Hill, and AlexRenew Board Vice Chair Patti Turner. The Workgroup meets approximately every six to eight weeks and reviews every aspect of the program, from planning and permitting to community outreach.
This summer, the Council-Board Workgroup donned RiverRenew hard hats and visited DC Water's Northeast Boundary Tunnel Project, an ongoing tunnel construction project in Washington, DC, designed to mitigate the discharge of combined sewage to the Anacostia River. Although this tunnel is double the diameter of the RiverRenew tunnel, it was created in similar soil and depth, making it an excellent point of reference for the Council-Board Workgroup members.