NID tunnel study proposed |

NID tunnel study proposed

A Nevada Irrigation District committee on Tuesday recommended spending $628,555 to study tunneling under Banner Lava Cap to bring extra water to two treatment plants on Banner Mountain. The full NID Board of Directors could make the final call Sept. 25.

The study would also evaluate other routes for the proposed 5.5-mile pipe, including one along Wings of Morning Drive, south of Banner Lava Cap. Residents there oppose that option, saying the project could ruin their neighborhood and endanger their well water.

The pipe, estimated to cost $20 million, would carry approximately twice as much raw water as Lower Cascade Canal, which NID has repeatedly said is too small to handle increased demands for raw water.

NID engineers in July recommended building the pipe along Wings of Morning Drive. But after neighbors voiced concerns, the board asked for information on other options.

Banner Mountain residents who oppose the plan to build a pipe along Wings of Morning Drive have formed a group called Save Banner Mountain.

NID should dig a tunnel under Banner Lava Cap and Idaho Maryland roads if the new pipe is really necessary, said group member Franz Velthuijsen.

Tim McCall, NID’s chief engineer, said NID has so far spent $700,000 on studies to replace the Lower Cascade Canal.

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