Sewer Upgrade Will Close N. 1st Place Beginning Next Week

A portion of N. 1st Place in Hermiston will be closed beginning the week of April 18 as utility crews begin work on the first of three Capital Improvement Plan projects. (Images courtesy of the city of Hermiston)

The first of three major Capital Improvement Plan projects on N. First Place will begin the week of April 18.

Next week, work will begin to upgrade underground utilities, road surface and overall access on North 1st Place.

The road will be closed near where it intersects with W. Ridgeway Avenue beginning the week of April 18 as utility crews bore under the street and nearby railroad line to tie a gravity sewer line into the existing main. The work and road closure is expected to continue as late as May 31.

The Capital Improvement Plan initially called for replacement of the 41-year-old mechanical pump at lift station No. 3, but after further study the city opted to replace it with a gravity sewer main.

“After looking at the costs and benefits of a new pump versus a gravity main, we found that it not only saves upfront costs but will also require less in ongoing maintenance to install the main,” said Mark Morgan, assistant city manager. “We had initially expected to spend about $900,000 to replace the pump and motor system, but by tying into the existing lines we’ll get the same benefits for an estimated $561,924.”

Two other separate projects are slated to break ground in the next year on North 1st Place that will greatly improve the infrastructure and significantly impact traffic in the area until late 2023.

The first is a water line replacement to completely overhaul the 100-year-old water main running the length of N. 1st Place from Hermiston Avenue to Elm Avenue. Work is expected to begin in the summer of 2022 and continue into late fall, requiring significant closures throughout.

The next is a $4.5 million roadway reconstruction project funded by state transportation dollars approved in 2017. This project will rebuild the existing roadway and install curbs, gutters, and pedestrian access to make the road a better north-south arterial roadway west of the railroad tracks. Work is expected to begin in early 2023 and conclude in fall 2023.

“By developing the Capital Improvement Plan we have been able to schedule these important projects in an order that makes sense financially and practically,” Morgan said. “We are working from the underground up, which will reduce the amount of redundant digging and repaving and will ultimately allow us to complete the projects sooner at a lower overall cost.”

Capital Improvement Plan projects, timelines, cost estimates, and updates can be found at

This overview image shows the route for where the work will be taking place around N. 1st Place and W. Ridgeway Avenue.