Lewis & Clark Pipeline gets money from 'omnibus bill' - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Lewis & Clark Pipeline gets money from 'omnibus bill'

Near Vermillion, S.D. (KTIV) - The Omnibus Bill President Obama signed two weeks ago will provide another 27 million dollars to build a water system that will serve twenty towns in Iowa and South Dakota.

But, it's still not enough money to complete what will likely be a 30- year long project.

Putting in place each 8 ton pipe one at a time takes a lot of time and money.

It is fully funded as of construction plans right now," said Clint Koehn, Construction Observer.

With 19 years of planning and construction down, there are still eleven years to go to have the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System fully operational.

"We have a lot of service lines left to put in.  Those haven't been funded yet," said Koehn.

This 11 mile stretch near Vermillion is fully funded, but with a 587 million dollar price tag, there is more money needed to reach their goal of completing the entire project by 2020.

"Right now, the main focus is the water treatment plant," said Koehn.

Once this stretch of pipes is buried underground, the water flowing through them will go through here, a 45 million gallon a day water treatment plant. 

"It's a lot of water," said Koehn.

A plant comparable to the size of a Super Wal-Mart, officials say the plant will employ 300 people during construction.

"The plant is in phase one right now.  Phase two should begin this fall, then it'll be about a three year process for phase two and water should be being treated and run up the pipeline by then," said Koehn.

The rest of the main trunk of the Lewis and Clark pipeline is expected to be in the ground by June of this year.

After that 11 miles stretch is finished, testing will be done to ensure no leaks and that the pipes are fully operational.

The Lewis and Clark Pipeline didn't start getting funding until 2000.

Officials hope to come into some stimulus money soon.

In June, when this is what the completed sections of the Lewis and Clark pipeline will look like.

They're the areas shaded in red.

So far their are 20 cities who will benefit from the project when it's done.

Sibley, Iowa is the last of those which will slated to be done in eleven years.

The project is four years behind at this point, but officials are hopeful stimulus money might help make up some of that time lost.

Online Reporter: Melissa Lanzourakis

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