Reliable winter-long water service in St. Clairsville remains in question despite the Ohio Department of Transportation’s approval of a municipal plan to run a new permanent water main through a culvert under Interstate 70.
When city workers discovered the water treatment plant’s main pipe was leaking, workers switched to a temporary water pipe along Reservoir Road in August. However, Jeremy Greenwood, director of service and safety, is unwilling to take the risk of running water in the pipe that sits atop the surface during the winter months. The city hopes to run the new permanent line through the old line culvert below I-70 to save time and money.
So far, more than $ 800,000 has been spent on the project, Greenwood said
“We’re just waiting to get the permits now. Once we have the permits, we can move forward with the project, ”he said.
Greenwood added that he did not know when these permits would be received, and he noted that the area experienced its first snowfall two weeks ago.
“We’re at ODOT’s mercy with this,” Greenwood said. “We got approval (from the Environmental Protection Agency)… but we’re waiting for ODOT. “
Greenwood said that once the documents are received, the city must determine whether the current box can be used for a new line.
“Once we get approval from ODOT, it will be a back and forth,” he said. “I hope it will be a process of a week or two.
“We already have the water lines in our stock, and a contractor has already been able to get some of them. We’re just waiting for ODOT and then it’s going to be kind of a waiting game to find out how bad this culvert is? Is it bad? Is it going to be okay? Are we going to be able to do Plan A or are we going to have to adjust and move on to Plan B? “
If the culvert is not an option, it will be necessary to drill under the highway and install a new leaf, at an increased cost.
Greenwood is confident in the city’s ability to maintain water service through the winter.
“With all the water going through the pipe and the thickness of the pipe, I don’t worry about freezing until we get to the subarctic climate. If this happens our plan is to get heat tape and put on the section that crosses the bridge (above I-70) as that would be the most vulnerable section as it would be totally exposed to the sun. cold from above. and lower. The sections that are in the ground and on the ground, I’m not so worried. I would much prefer to complete the project and not pay to control traffic on a bridge that is right there. “
A 400-foot section of new water pipe was also installed after the BellStores refueling station at 418 S. Marietta Street. The station is currently undergoing modernization and expansion.
“They will try to open the store by the end of next month,” Greenwood said. “Our pipe is already in the ground. They’re going to do their tap for the new building on Monday.