WEIRTON - Crews worked for several weeks to stabilize a main sewer line hanging over a ravine in an undeveloped part of the city that had begun to leak.
Weirton Sanitary Board staff members recently wrapped up work in a wooded, undeveloped area behind North 24th Street that extends to Get Togethers picnic grounds after a walk-through of the city's sewer lines. Employees raced the clock to establish a new line in a suspended bridge that would prevent major line problems in the future.
According to officials, crews created a road to the location and constructed the bridge on site with little room to work on a hillside ledge overlooking a steep grade. Board members approved up to $30,000 on the project and figures came in around $24,000, thus saving the city thousands of dollars when compared to a similar project 10 years ago that cost the board almost $100,000.
PREVENTING PROBLEMS — After discovering a problem with an exposed sewer line encased in concrete looming over a ravine in a wooded, undeveloped area behind North 24th Street that extends to Get Togethers picnic grounds, Sanitary Board workers have been working to establish a new line in a suspended bridge that would prevent major line problems in the future. According to officials, crews created a road to the location and constructed the bridge on site saving the city thousands of dollars by doing the work in house. -- Angelina Dickson
Assistant Utilities Director Kevin Board said the original sewer line, encased in cement, had been hanging 30 feet above a ravine that is 73 feet across and a few hundred feet into the wooded area. He said there was a land bridge that once stabilized the line, but as a result of heavy rains, it appears a thousand tons of dirt had been washed away since a walk-through check of the lines last winter.
Board said crews responded to construct and weld the bridge together and suspend the new line inside the steel bridge anchored by two cement piers on each side of the chasm. He said the Sanitary Board utilized the services of James White Construction to assist with large equipment to lock the bridge into place.
"It wouldn't have been cost feasible to have a contractor attempt to restore the land bridge," said Utilities Director Butch Mastrantoni. "In addition to the high cost, there is always the possibility another land bridge would wash away during heavy storms."
Mayor George Kondik said he visited the site, which had to be traveled to backward in a four-wheel drive truck due to the assembly of the bridge on site and little room to turn around along the cliff. He said he was impressed with the work done by Sanitary Board employees.
Board said the new line has been established and flow has been transferred. He said the old line was knocked down as a safety precaution and safety measures were taken to protect the new line as well.
(Dickson can be contacted at email@example.com)