04/07/10 — City Council hears update on repair project

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City Council hears update on repair project

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on April 7, 2010 1:46 PM

Within the next several weeks, the 84-inch corrugated metal pipe that failed near the intersection of Spence Avenue and Elm Street, forcing the closure of the popular thoroughfare, will be replaced.

But City Engineer Marty Anderson said the project would not cost nearly as much as he originally estimated. In fact, an effort he once feared might run the city some $250,000 will be contracted out, instead, for just more than $90,000.

The road failure, which was first noticed in early March, was the result of a combination of excessive rain and a pipe that had simply worn down over time.

"It just failed. It outlived its lifetime," Public Works director Neil Bartlett said a few days after city officials closed a portion of the road. "It's corroded, and over a period of time, when it failed, all the rain water we had, particularly about three weeks ago, washed out around the pipe and undermined the pavement. ... So right now, there is a fairly large section of pavement with no support at all."

But within a few weeks, an aluminum pipe will be set in its place, allowing Richland Creek to, again, pass under Spence.

"The aluminum lasts a lot longer," Anderson said.

The job could be completed in-house Anderson said, although, he believes the time and manpower it would take away from the Public Works Department would end up costing the city more than it would spend contracting the job out.

"I talked to (Bartlett) and his crews probably could do it, but I don't think you're going to save enough money (for it to be worth it)," Anderson said.

No date for the reopening of the portion of Spence Street near its intersection with Elm has been given, but Anderson said with good weather, he is confident that a new pipe could be set, in-fill could be completed and the road could be repaved all within a few weeks.