Improvements to the city’s sewer system near Highland Road are slated to begin in October, and residents can expect minor traffic effects, officials said.

The new improvements will not affect Highland Road, but will affect surrounding areas, said Joseph O. Young, deputy program manager with CH2M Hill, a consulting, design, design-build, operations and program management firm.

“The majority of the improvements are concentrated within the Kenilworth area, with a small amount of work upstream of the new LSU station,” Young said.

Department of Public Works Interim Director Bryan Harmon said traffic will be affected during various phases of the project but that traffic delays will be short term, a few days to a few weeks.

Drivers in the area can expect construction signs, temporary detours, temporary lane closures and, at times, full street closures, he said.

Bids have been received for the first phase, and the project will cost approximately $15.6 million. The low bidder was Boone Services.

Phase one should be completed by November 2015, Young said.

Bids for phase two of the project will be received later this year, and costs are estimated at $8 million, Harmon said.

Phase two is expected to start in January 2015 and end in February 2016, he said.

The Department of Public Works will advertise for bids in approximately three weeks. The second phase of the project includes improvements along Highland Road between the Oak Hills and Bluebonnet area, and drivers can expect similar delays, Young said.

The project will include replacing the existing sewer lines with larger ones, Young said.

The first phase of the Highland Road Pipeline Project is a two-part project and a Sanitary Sewer Overflow Control and Wastewater Facilities Program upgrade required under a federal consent decree. The Baton Rouge City/Parish Department of Public Works implemented an SSO Control and Wastewater Facilities Program to address existing sewer overflow and wastewater treatment challenges in the city and parish while planning for future growth in the Baton Rouge area, the DPW website states.

The federal consent decree is a program supported by state and federal regulatory agencies that requires upgrades to wastewater treatment plants to meet wastewater discharge permit limits, and upgrades to sewer collection systems to reduce the number of sewer overflows.

The federal decree is part of the Clean Water Act. In 1989, DPW entered into negotiations with the Environmental Protection Agency, Department Of Justice and the state to establish a formal program that would be recognized and supported by local government, according to the website.

For more information, visit brgov.com/dept/dpw/.