LAMPASAS — Officials hope a new infrastructure upgrade project extending the wastewater system through the city’s northwest side will encourage commercial and residential growth in Lampasas.

Dubbed the North Interceptor, the project involves running a sewer line along North Key Avenue to the east side of Badger Stadium near the Benny Boyd car dealership and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

“It stops just before reaching Farm-to-Market 580,” City Manager Finley deGraffenried said.

The city discussed the project for about 10 years before it was launched, said Derrek Eckermann, project engineer for Eckermann Engineering. Although it started out as strictly a wastewater extension, the scope of the project expanded to include water service upgrades.

“Around 2010, we did a preliminary study on the route we would take,” Eckermann said. “We knew the starting and ending point, put some costs together for different routes and gave our recommendations, but it kind of went on the shelf again until earlier this year and the city decided to go ahead and build it.”

The project’s ultimate goal is to serve future developments to the north and northwest along Burleson Creek.

Eckermann said there was renewed interest in the project when engineers from the Stripes Corporation submitted plans in February to build a convenience store on the north side of Lampasas.

“I think that helped push the project along with a more aggressive timeline,” Eckermann said.

The Stripes Convenience Store is under construction. Although a contract has not been finalized, Stripes verbally committed to pay for a portion of the North Interceptor project by reimbursing the city for 700 feet of water lines and wastewater service to the new store.

Eckermann said the project will replace about 1,500 feet of existing sewer line and clay pipe “that’s in very, very bad condition,” extending north and repairing sewer issues at Benny Boyd and the Catholic church.

“I think the church is on about four different septic systems, so they will be completely off the septic systems and tie in to the new sewer,” he said.

On June 24, the Lampasas City Council voted unanimously to award a $430,000 construction bid for the project to QRO Mex Construction Company of Granite Shoals. With Stripes’ expected reimbursement of approximately $100,000, the net cost to the city will be $330,000.

Construction is slated to begin in mid-July and be completed in 120 days. The completion date will likely coincide with the opening of the new Stripes store, Eckermann said.

“I think both projects will be completed within days, if not one week, of each other.”

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