LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Metropolitan Sewer District announced last week that it has canceled its plan to build a waste water storage basin near Lexington Road and Grinstead Drive.

The main reason for the cancellation is the underground tunnel that's already being built, starting at 11th and Rowan Streets. 

The tunnel is being built 200 feet below street level. It’s designed to capture millions of gallons of sewage and storm water, preventing it from flowing into the Ohio River.

Initial plans called for a 2.5-mile underground tunnel, but MSD has now decided to extend it to four miles. That means the planned basin at Lexington and Grinstead won't be necessary.

MSD has already spent $9 million to purchase the old Jim Porter's property and begin construction, but MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott said changing course will save money in the long run.

"It gives us the opportunity to have less operating equipment at the I-64 and Grinstead site," Parrott said. "And then, over the life of the asset, it’s more cost effective, and it also gives us more storage."

The General Manager of the Le Moo restaurant, which is across the street from the Grinstead basin, is pleased the project is now canceled.

"It's a blessing," said Marty Hayse. "We appreciate that."

Metro Councilman Bill Hollander's 9th District includes the now-canceled Grinstead project. He said the change is good news for everyone who lives and works in the area, but Hollander does have one concern.

"Of course, I wish we hadn't spent the money, and caused the disruption that we've already done on the basin," Hollander told WDRB News. "But I think this is a better solution."

MSD says it will turn part of the property into green space as originally planned, and eventually sell the rest. 

"I'll take that over a catch basin any day for sure," said Hayse.

Parrott said MSD does not know yet how much extending the tunnel will add to its current projected cost of $30 million. Bids are still being accepted.

Parrott said the 2020 deadline to finish the project has not changed.


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