Construction to begin in two weeks

Published 3:00 am Thursday, March 26, 2015

Within the next two weeks, construction on Pell Avenue should be underway if all goes to plan.

Vaughn Daniels, environmental service director, said the department hoped the work could begin within the next two weeks because of the condition of the road, and Zach Bradley, a land surveyor with Watkins Engineering, said the pipe would need to be excavated in order to repair the damage.

“They are going to excavate the pipe that is there now because it has failed,” Bradley said. “There are eight-foot sections of pipe underneath the road, and those sections have separated on one side.”

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The leaking, Bradley said, has caused a crater to be formed underneath the pipe, which has led the road to sink further on one side.

In order to fix the street, extensive work is needed to be done, and Daniels said there are several factors that could contribute to the amount of time the construction would take.

“It depends on the weather and different conditions,” Daniels said. “We anticipate and we are saying 15 working days, but working days means days they are able to work. If it rains and they aren’t able to work then there is a possibility that we allow for a few days to allow it to work. Those 15 days could be longer.”

Daniels said the department was hoping the work would take less than the maximum of 35 working days that have been allotted for the project, and Daniels said an estimated 65-foot stretch of Pell Avenue would be closed for the repairs.

“We will probably close the road off near the nursing school, that way no traffic comes down near the traffic,” Daniels said. “We will be able to give them access to that turn in and turn out, so both entrances to Fraternity Circle will be open during the construction.”

However, Daniels said the 65-foot stretch of Pell being worked on would be closed to walking traffic, and those currently utilizing the grounds around the construction zone would need to find other options.

“No one including pedestrians, no walking traffic, will be allowed in that area during construction,” Daniels said. “They will not have access to park in that area either.”

Daniels said after taking the pipe out, the department would end up putting a “bed” in place to fill the crater the water has left.

“We will take the pipe out, they will condition or end up putting in a bed for the pipe,” Daniels said. “This one is calling for stone pipe backfill. This one may require a beneath and on top to a certain level and then it is filled with clay. Once we put that last layer of clay, then we will do asphalt.”

Daniels said this project would be rather extensive and include replacing the sidewalks and other parts of the street.

“In this project we will have to replace the sidewalks, the curbing, the storm water inlets and build headwalls and toewalls,” Daniels said. “All that stuff is concrete work that will take some time as well.”

Bradley said that if the push for the roadwork now was because the section would continue to deteriorate and could cause a safety hazard for pedestrians and vehicle traffic going through the area.

“This will continue to be a problem and will continue to get worse if it’s not repaired,” Bradley said.