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Major sewer project in Waynesboro area is set for this summer

February 08, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Work is set to begin this summer to replace nearly five miles of sewer lines in the Waynesboro area as part of a more than $5 million project, officials said.

Sean McFarland, manager of the Washington Township Municipal Authority, said replacement pipes would be installed in a five-mile stretch of roadway from the authority’s plant at Lyons Road on the southeast end of Waynesboro, with work continuing northward to the Gehr Road/Stottlemyer Road area.

The authority’s engineering firm, CET Engineering Services of Harrisburg, Pa., is finalizing the design, McFarland said.

“There are several areas we have determined it would be advantageous for us to relocate the existing sewer lines,” McFarland said. “Most of the other areas we’re replacing it where it currently lies, in the same trench just with larger pipe.”

The authority asked its engineers to determine if pipes installed in the 1970s could handle the current flow coupled with projected growth, and it was determined that the pipes had to be replaced.

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In 2009, plans began to replace the old, smaller sewer pipe with larger pipe to accommodate the needs of the authority’s sewer customers, McFarland said.

With about 4,700 current sewer customers and almost 5,000 new homes at some phase of planning in the township, McFarland said work is necessary to “meet the needs of the community for the foreseeable future.”

During construction work, McFarland said motorists could expect some changes in traffic patterns.

“There are many places where the existing sewer line is in the roadway,” McFarland said. “We’ll keep those (traffic tie-ups) to a minimum. We’re boring under the major roads. The roads we do have to tie up, we’re certainly going to try and divert traffic.”

McFarland said the authority refinanced existing debt at a lower interest rate and borrowed money to pay for the project, which is expected to cost between $5 million and $6 million.

“Our efforts would be to minimize impact on the public and do this as quickly and efficiently as possible to keep costs low,” McFarland said.

The authority’s sewer customers will not see a rate increase to offset the cost of the sewer project immediately, McFarland said. But he would not rule out a rate hike in the future to help fund the project.

So far, McFarland has contacted 65 property owners and about 10 businesses along the stretch of roadway affected by the sewer project.

The authority has to acquire temporary easements from property owners to move construction equipment and stockpile dirt in order to complete the project.

The authority has an existing 20-foot easement over the pipe and is asking for an additional 15- to 30-foot temporary easement, he said.

Earlier this month, McFarland approached the Waynesboro Borough Council about an easement at Renfrew Park.

McFarland said since Renfrew is owned by the borough of Waynesboro, they must grant the easement.

Currently, the borough solicitor is reviewing the easement agreement with the authority’s solicitor.

“All of our work will take place on the east side of the stream where there are woods and walking trails,” McFarland said. “The west side of the stream will not be affected.”

He said the only people who will be affected during construction are those who enjoy the walking paths.

The authority is responsible for restoring the walking paths following completion of the sewer work, McFarland said.

Renfrew Park’s boards already have granted approval to the authority, McFarland said.

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