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Elevator done after many ups and downs

December 08, 2006|by TARA REILLY

An elevator project at the Washington County Administration Building that caused headaches for county officials has been completed, but at more than double the budgeted amount.

The contractor doing the project ran into several issues that increased the cost from about $95,000 to about $210,000, Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said.

The county undertook the elevator maintenance project in late June to comply with state regulations, according to a press release issued by the county in the summer.

At the time, the project was expected to take five weeks.

The contractor, however, came across several problems along the way, including difficulty in extracting an old shaft and drilling a new shaft. It also ran into groundwater at a depth of about 32 feet, Rohrer said.

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The groundwater - 60,000 gallons a night - had to be pumped into tanker trucks and hauled away, he said.

The project caused the County Commissioners to move their meetings, normally held on the second floor of the Administration Building, to the Water Quality Building in Williamsport from July to November, to accommodate disabled individuals.

The project was completed Monday, about four months behind schedule.

"Unfortunately, it became one of the most frustrating projects that we've dealt with," Rohrer said.

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