A stalled combined sanitary and storm sewer project is back on track after a delay caused by oversized boulders.
Excavation equipment began digging up Waterbury Avenue and laying pipe this week after a change order was issued by the city for the delayed sewer line in Country Club. The work is part of a larger water main and sewer replacement that is otherwise complete.
The discovery of the rocks, some as large as a small car, on several blocks on and near Waterbury Avenue, increased the job’s cost.
Instead of boring a tunnel under the street surface and slipping the pipe through, as was originally planned, the contractor has instead used ‘open excavation’ – a pit dug in the street – to install the new sewer lines, said Robert DeTiberiis, Country Club Civic Association Public Improvement Committee chairman.
“Numerous boulders have been encountered already, and they would have hindered the tunneling operation,” said DeTiberiis, whose occupation is a construction superintendent. “I know it is an inconvenience, but most of the people I have spoken to are relatively satisfied.”
Under normal circumstances, boring underground would be quicker, but in this case, the city made the right construction decision because many boulders were encountered, and more might be there, he said.
The construction work, originally scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2014, is currently taking place on Waterbury Avenue between Stadium and Wilcox avenues.
Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns said that there will be some additional inconvenience during the new operation.
“They (the Department of Design and Construction) said that they did a lot of outreach in posting this to the homeowners so they would move their cars,” he said.
CCCA president Michael McNerney said that so far his organization has not heard any complaints on this part of the work.
“Yes, the work is an inconvenience, but we are glad to see it underway,” the president said, adding “we are hoping that it is wrapped up as soon as possible.”
Senator Jeff Klein weighed in the matter as well, calling for the project to be completed sooner rather than later.
“After many months of delays and far too many stops and starts, I am happy that the construction on Waterbury Avenue will begin again this week,” the senator said, adding “the sewer system in Country Club has been a long-standing issue and I stand with the community in seeking the expedited completion of this project with the least inconvenience to the residents.”