SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) -For the last 30 years efforts have been made to improve the water quality of the Connecticut River.

It was years in the making but the newly built York Street Pump Station and Connecticut River Crossing Project in Springfield are complete.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday at the site of what was once the old York Street Jail. Now it is the location of the $137 million York Street Pump station and Connecticut River Crossing Project. The new pump station replaces the old one that was built back in 1938.

“This facility will not only benefit Springfield but other cities and towns along the Connecticut River. Also, we have three river crossing pipes that we installed under the Connecticut River that take wastewater from the entire region and send it to the wastewater treatment plant on Bondi’s Island. These additional pipes under the river add some more redundancy so we can take some offline and do proactive maintenance or if there is an emergency,” said Jaimye Bartak, Communications Manager at Springfield Water and Sewer Commission.

“The Connecticut River today is so much cleaner where you can now have passive and active recreation because of what we did with combined sewer overflow. The pure beauty of it from the Canadian Border to Long Island Sound all of that has been improved,” Congressman Richard Neal said.

The pump station is already online and this summer they saw an increase in the CSOs, combined sewer overflows, going to the wastewater treatment plant instead of into the Connecticut River. An open house was held Friday afternoon so residents could tour the new pump station.

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