RMWD to repay Caltrans $13.9 mil for sewer line

The Rainbow Municipal Water District approved an agreement with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to relocate facilities impacted by the widening of State Route 76 between Mission Road and Interstate 15.

The agreement includes Rainbow’s reimbursement to Caltrans for the relocation and re-sizing of a sewer line between Sweetgrass Lane and Gird Road. Rainbow will reimburse Caltrans an estimated $13,920,000 over a three-year period.

“The district’s main sewer runs down the middle of the existing 76, and that will have to be relocated and at the same time it will be upsized,” said Rainbow general manager Brian Brady.

Rainbow’s board approved the agreement by a 4-1 vote Nov. 19, with Jack Griffiths voting against the agreement due to his disagreement that the district is required to pay the full amount to Caltrans.

Caltrans will cover the entire cost of relocating Rainbow’s water lines. “The reason we don’t have to pay that on the relocation of the water lines is we have prior rights on the water lines, but we don’t have prior rights on the sewer lines,” Brady said.

The sewer line will be increased in diameter from 12 to 18 inches. “The capacity will be increased significantly,” Brady said. “Caltrans is going to do that over three years while they rebuild the road.”

The reimbursement agreement allows all work to be performed by a single contractor. Although the Caltrans contractor will perform the construction work, Rainbow will still provide inspection oversight. Rainbow will make annual payments to Caltrans.

The agreement is for the first of two Caltrans phases and does not cover a sewer line adjacent to Live Oak Creek Bridge. Once construction costs for the second phase are known the issues will be brought to the water district board for action.

7 Responses to "RMWD to repay Caltrans $13.9 mil for sewer line"

  1. Me   December 13, 2013 at 10:56 am

    How much more will Rainbow gouge it’s customers for that?

  2. ERIN   December 14, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    So let me get this straight. We, RMWD customers will pay in rate hikes for a sewer line to moved. So that Cal-Trans can widen Hwy 76 to ease non-resident communter traffic. Wow!

  3. Steven in Fallbrook   December 14, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Not my problem as I’m in Fallbrook, but it seems to me that, unless the easement [or other applicable document that allowed Rainbow to lay the sewer line under the 76] states that Rainbow pays if the sewer line needs to be moved, CalTrans should be paying the cost of relocating the line. After all, it was CalTrans, not Rainbow, that decided to widen the 76. However, the District probably needs to pay for the extra cost of putting in 18" instead of 12", as CalTrans isn’t liable for population growth etc. that has caused the need for larger capacity piping.

  4. Tom,   December 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I agree with all three comments, with Steven articulating exactly the correct facts that it is Cal-trans that desires to improve 76, so why should Rainbow pay for anything other than taking their actions as an opportunity to increase the size of the pipe – and just be responsible for that add-on expense. I live in Rainbow and would prefer not widening 76 to the inevitable jacking up of our rates so that Cal-trans can widen their road.

  5. Eric   December 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    RMWD customers will pay in rate hikes for a sewer line

  6. Me   December 16, 2013 at 11:41 am

    We already "enjoy" the highest base-rate of all 22 districts in San Diego County……so we know they are not afraid to raise rates…….

  7. Just the Facts   December 16, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Me, we enjoy those high rates because "We the People" voted to be on a pay-as-you-go plan. Most other water companies finance construction projects.


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