Rains delay Waynesboro stormwater project

Area between Church and Maple had to be virtually rebuilt and re-excavated because of setback

December 28, 2011|By BILL KOHLER |
  • The culvert between Church and Maple streets is what remains to be completed in a stormwater project in the south end of Waynesboro, Pa.
By Bill Kohler, Tri-State editor

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Work continues on the first phase of a multimillion-dollar stormwater project in Waynesboro, but the end appears to be in sight, a borough official said Wednesday.

Improvements being made to the outfall along Cemetery Avenue are the first phase of a multimillion-dollar project addressing Waynesboro's undersized and aging stormwater system.

The project began in early May and resulted in the closing of Church and Maple streets and Old Mill Road near their intersections with Cemetery Avenue.

Borough officials and contractor David H. Martin Excavating expected to have the project wrapped up by October, but weather problems, including one of the wettest falls in recent memory, delayed the project.

A major setback happened Oct. 19 when rains caused the collapse of a wall near Cemetery Avenue's intersection with Church Street. The collapse occurred near Antietam Dairy.

Grubbs said in November that the water ripped out a gabion attached to the wall, causing a domino effect in which other baskets were torn out. Gabions are wire baskets that hold rocks or similar materials to secure walls and dams.

The east side of the Church Street overpass is complete, but the area between Church and Maple had to be virtually rebuilt and re-excavated because of the October setback, according to the David H. Martin, the foreman on the scene Tuesday.

Grubbs said Tuesday that the design of the gabions has been changed and it is working well.

The area should be reopened to traffic in the middle of January if the weather cooperates, Grubbs said.

He said the problems have caused a few change orders, but nothing outrageous.

"Despite the delays, it hasn't got out of hand as far as the budget goes. It's been within reason," Grubbs said.

Grubbs praised the work of the Martin company and said he is pleased with the project meeting its goal of alleviating a longstanding flooding problem in the borough's south end.

"From what we can see, we're very pleased with it," he said.

"We've had some really bad storms, and it has yet to come out of the banks. Before this, it would have been a flooding issue," Grubbs said.

Phases 2 and 3 of the project, which primarily focus on changes to South Potomac Street's portion of the system, are expected to begin in 2012. Preliminary work has begun on those phases, Grubbs said.

David H. Martin Excavating was awarded a $922,000 contract for the first phase.

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