Detour ahead: Wheaton plans Manchester Road closure for sewer work

Drivers in north Wheaton will face a major sewer project slated to shut down a well-traveled stretch of Manchester Road at the start of summer.

The Wheaton Sanitary District is requesting that the city close a portion of Manchester to all traffic for a minimum of two weeks in June to install huge concrete sewer pipes.

It's the last key piece of a $33.5 million project to replace the sewer interceptor pipe that runs from the district's wastewater treatment plant off Shaffner Road to Community Park in Carol Stream.

The sanitary district plans to do the work on Manchester Road sometime in early June after school is out for the summer, Executive Director Matthew Larson said.

"We realize Manchester is a busy thoroughfare and the less days that it has to be closed, the better," Larson said.

Manchester Road is heavily used by drivers heading to the DuPage County government complex, the county fairgrounds and neighborhood schools west of downtown. The last traffic count came to 8,200 vehicles over 24 hours.

Though there are still some logistics to work out, city and district officials have discussed a tentative detour route. That proposal calls for traffic going west to use Gables Boulevard south to Childs Street and then north on Woodlawn Street back to Manchester. Eastbound traffic would likely be diverted south on Dorchester Avenue to Childs and then north on Gables.

"While nothing has been finalized or set in stone, and there are multiple options for detours in the area, this is definitely one of the probably best options on the table," Larson said.

The pipe has already been installed at the intersection of Manchester and Knollwood Drive and under the railroad tracks, with the last remaining section yet to be installed crossing the road.

The district anticipates the construction period to take roughly 10 working days.

"Wheaton Sanitary District, along with our contractor and engineer, will also work to reduce the road closure time via measures that are acceptable" to the city, Larson wrote in a memo to Wheaton officials. "These measures could include working weekends and extended weekday hours."

Mayor Phil Suess said he'd like to mitigate traffic on Gables Boulevard, noting a narrow part of the road. The sanitary district also is working to avoid disruptions to events at the county fairgrounds farther west along Manchester.

District engineers say the project is needed because the existing interceptor pipe that carries wastewater to the treatment plant has reached the end of its useful life.

The new pipe relocates the interceptor to locations that are more accessible for routine maintenance, Larson said. The project also will provide greater capacity. Pipeline construction started about two years ago.

The southern section of the pipeline is being replaced with 60-inch to 48-inch pipe. Portions of the northern section of the pipeline will be increased in size to 42 inches.

The Wheaton Sanitary District treats wastewater for most of Wheaton, southern Carol Stream, portions of Glen Ellyn and Winfield and unincorporated areas, including the county complex.

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