The Silver Bay City council has approved a bid for the 2019 sanitary sewer improvement project Monday, June 3. The low bid is about $178,000 lower than expected.

The sanitary sewer improvement project is a combination of three projects: the east and west sewer projects and the trunk line sewer project. The sewer bridge project will repair two sewer bridges in the city: the west sewer bridge (south of Arthur Circle) and the east sewer bridge (south of the Black Beach Campground).

The west bridge requires less rehabilitation and no special permission from landowners, also known as an easement.

The east bridge, which requires an easement from Northshore Mining and far more rehabilitation and construction.

The trunk line sewer project seeks to replace approximately a half-mile main flow sewer pipe to the wastewater treatment plant. This portion of pipe runs along the hillside from the city along the northwest side of Water Plant Road and crosses East Lakeview Drive along Industrial Park Road. It's the main pipe that carries wastewater from the city.

The projects were combined into one project in attempt to acquire a better bid price.

Three bids were received for the project. The winning low bid came from Bougalis and Sons Co. from Hibbing and estimated at $993,000. The engineer's estimate was approximately $1.17 million.

The bid doesn’t include the alternate painting of the East Sanitary Sewer Bridge. Three options were included, but they were all more than the engineer’s estimate of $30,000. The bridge is expected to be painted at a later date.

Drafts of the easement agreement with Northshore Mining have been transmitted for review. Construction on the projects won't begin until the easement agreements are in place but a delay is not expected.

Construction is anticipated to start shortly after the Fourth of July. Access to Black Beach will likely be closed during the construction of the trunk line project. Campers could still access the park by foot, but the beach itself would likely have to be closed to all motor traffic.