Updating the aging water pipeline infrastructure within the entire city of West University Place is up for consideration after engineers presented their latest findings on the West Side Drainage Project to members of the West University Place City Council at the Feb. 13 meeting.

City Manager Dave Beach said such a large-scale undertaking could cost close to $500 million.

Representatives from Cobb, Fendley & Associates Inc., the engineering firm contracted to work on the west side project, and Public Works Director Danny Cameron presented their latest findings to council. Two detention sites up for consideration as part of the project are at the West University Recreation Center and Colonial Park.

After discussing the detention center and pipeline corridor data, the firm’s engineer said that although the updates would help, they would not get to the root of the stormwater drainage problems.

After clarifying the new information, Mayor Susan Sample, Mayor Pro Tem John Montgomery, and Council Members Shannon Carroll and John Barnes agreed that further research into the cost and analysis of a larger project should be considered.

The West Side Drainage Project could cost nearly $100 million not including land acquisition costs, according to city documents. More than half of the project cost would be allocated for the pipeline corridor at $59.2 million, and more than $28 million would toward both the expanded recreation center and Colonial Park detention sites.

The project is part of a larger effort by the city to meet the minimum standard for a two-year storm design across its roads and drainage infrastructure, which includes work on the city’s east and west sides. The new joint pipelines with reinforced concrete box storm sewer trunklines could add relief to Kilmarnock Ditch, which is at capacity, according to Beach. The project would also include pavement replacement.

City staff is working on finalizing the preliminary engineering report with hopes to bring it back for council consideration by the end of March. Staff would then return with a design contract for the council to review by April.