KAUKAUNA — Boaters navigating the Fox River are being cautioned about a temporary underwater sewer bypass project under the boating canal through Kaukauna.

Between approximately May and November, a sewer bypass pipe will be submerged in the Lower Fox River and will run from the Kaukauna dam near the Lawe Street Bridge east to Lock 1 across from the Kaukauna Public Library.

For boating safety, the pipe will be submerged to provide approximately four (4) feet of clearance and will be marked with two navigational hazard buoys.

Boaters should not navigate close to the buoys and may safely cross the submerged pipe in the center of the canal (generally east of Island/Catherine Street). Boaters should still practice caution when crossing the pipe and may wish to trim their motor and raise any trailing devices above water.

Find project updates at https://hvmsd.org and reach us directly with comments or questions about the project at interceptor.feedback@hvmsd.org or (833) 468-6730.

The work is part of the Heart of the Valley Metropolitan Sewerage District’s interceptor rehabilitation project.

The 5.5-mile system, originally installed in 1977, has experienced corrosion of the concrete pipe and structures.

The most recent video inspection found extensive surface corrosion of the pipe, which threatens the longevity of the pipe.

In early April, contractors began constructing and installing the sewer bypass line on the Ahlstrom Mill
property east of the Kaukauna library.

Contractors also installed a bypass pumping station at the bottom of the hill behind the Kaukauna Chamber of Commerce Building.

For the public’s safety, the area behind the Chamber building will be fenced off while the pumping equipment is in operation, a period of about three to four months. Following installation of the bypass line, Visu-Sewer will begin rehabilitating the main interceptor pipe.

Also in early April, contractors began work inside Riverside Park in Kaukauna to reinforce a portion of
the shoreline in order to allow heavy equipment to safely access the Fox River.

Once the access is installed, there will be a pause on construction activity inside Riverside Park until work on the eastern most section of interceptor is complete. For the public’s safety, the work area inside Riverside Park will be fenced off. However, public access to the boat launch and the adjacent parking area will be maintained.

By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.