When complete, the Juniper water pump station in Pueblo will have many motors and one of them will have the horsepower of four Formula 1 racing cars.
It will need it to pump water 1,500 feet in elevation from Pueblo Reservoir to Pueblo West, Fountain, Security and Colorado Springs. Juniper station at Lake Pueblo State Park will be one of three water pump stations needed to move up to 96 million gallons of water up hill 53 miles in the Colorado Springs Utilities’ Southern Delivery System pipeline.
On Tuesday, Pueblo-based contractors lined up to place a brick in the façade of the Juniper water pump station. The ceremonial brick-laying event marked the beginning of work on $76.5 million worth of construction on the three SDS pump stations. Work will begin at the Pueblo station and then move north to the two pump stations in El Paso County.
To date, Colorado Springs Utilities has hired about 100 Pueblo contractors for about $60 million in work on the massive, multi-year project.
The brick ceremony was meant to celebrate the construction jobs created by the project, a utilities spokeswoman said. Summit Brick Company is building the brick façade on the station – a project taking 50,000 bricks.
In Pueblo County, construction includes the connection to the Pueblo Dam, the pump station and 18.4 miles of pipeline. The dam connection and all but .3 miles of the Pueblo County pipeline are completed. Juniper water pump station is expected to be completed in 2015.
“SDS has been a welcome boost to the local economy during unstable times for the construction industry,” said John Bowen, president of ASI Constructors, which worked on the SDS connection to the Pueblo Dam.
Construction on the SDS bagan four years ago and was launched to bring more water to Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security Water District and Pueblo West for future growth. Growth estimates for SDS factor in 1.9 percent annual growth rate in El Paso County.
The entire $1 billion project is expected to be completed by April 2016 and could pump 5 million gallons daily at first but with eventual capacity to pump up to 96 million gallons daily.