WEIRTON - The ground will soon be moving as the Weirton Sanitary Board prepares to start the first phase of a multi-million-dollar project in the north end of the city to address overflow problems.
Jenelle Armstrong of Thrasher Engineering reported to the board during the regular meeting on Thursday that the project was approved for the categorical exclusion of a finding of no significant impact - something needed before the project could begin.
Armstrong said the plans and specifications have been given to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and they expect to be able to put the first phase of the project out for bid soon.
Utilities Director Butch Mastrantoni said the first phase of the project will capture the sanitary flow from approximately 1,000 structures along Pennsylvania Avenue and the surrounding neighborhoods and route it back to the 5th Street Lift station. He said the flow is currently being treated with chemicals - costing the board an additional $50,000 per year - before going into the Ohio River.
"This first phase will remove the need for chemical disinfection and dechlorination, which is a significant cost to the board," he said.
Mastrantoni said it's taken some time to get to this point, but things are continuing to gain momentum. He thanked Thrasher Engineering for the work done to get the categorical exclusion, something he said is a rare feat.
Once the first phase is complete, contractors will establish a 5-mile force main down Main Street that will divert overflow from the Ohio River to the 5th Street lift station and back to the treatment plant. Mastrantoni said the second phase of the project will have to go through the regular process and could take longer to get the necessary approvals.
Mastrantoni said once the project goes to bid, it will be close to January before a notice to proceed can be issued. He said the construction company would have approximately one year to complete the project by the December 2013 deadline.
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