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Hagerstown utility workers taking over Jonathan Street project

September 18, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Workers from the Hagerstown Water and Sewer departments will take over installation of the water and sewer lines on the Jonathan Street improvement project.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue on Tuesday told the Hagerstown City Council that a large rock deposit below the surface has slowed work to the point that the contractor, Ardent Co. LLC of McLean, Va., can no longer complete the project without exceeding the $3.7 million projected cost.

As a result, about $1.5 million will be dropped from the contract to pay for the city's labor.

"We're still working within the financial confines of the contract," Tissue said.

The city plans to finish the water and sewer work in the 200 block of Jonathan Street by November, Tissue said. The street then would be reopened to traffic for the winter and shut down again in March 2009 so work could resume in the 300 and 400 blocks.

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Tissue said the project would be rebid if city officials determine in the spring that the subsurface rock is too thick.

The project to overhaul Jonathan Street from the 200 block to Pennsylvania Avenue began in June. Construction hit a snag early last month after the rock deposit was discovered.

Tissue said the problem could be traced to the 1920s, when workers didn't remove the rock, but tunneled through it to lay the existing sewer line.

In addition to replacing the water and sewer lines, the Jonathan Street project includes utility improvements and repaving the street.

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