By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News
TOWN OF TONAWANDA — The ongoing, massive Parker-Fries sewer project is months ahead of schedule, according to Director of Water Resources Ken Maving.
“It is really going very quickly,” he said.
The hired contractors for the job, Concrete Applied Technologies of Alden, began phase two in August at Koenig Road and have moved south down Fries. Per the plan, construction would likely hit Glenalby by the third week in November.
But now, in just the first week of November, construction has made it to the area between Braxmar Road and Brighton Road — putting contractors at least two blocks ahead of schedule.
And that’s after the workers took off last week due to the hurricane.
“They are that much ahead of the game,” Maving said.
The intersection at Brighton and Fries will be shut down starting Wednesday and will likely stay that way until Dec. 1, hoping to complete work on the road before the snow begins to fall.
Maving said they have worked with Kenmore East High School to reroute the buses and will post no parking signs on the roads, as well.
It’s not clear yet whether construction will be halted over the winter.
“It really depends on the weather,” Maving said. “If we get weather like we did last year, they’ll continue to work.”
Before starting, CATCO was worried they would run into rock in the ground after they began to dig, as well as other soils that would be difficult to shore up. But they haven’t, and that’s what’s causing the project to go much quicker.
“The soils they have encountered have been really conducive to getting in and out,” Maving said. “There is a bit of rock, but nothing like phase one.”
The town board made the final budget adjustment for phase one at the meeting Oct. 29. The resolution authorized the supervisor to execute the final change order for phase one to contractor Kandey Company, Inc. in the amount of $363,058.43.
“This is it for phase 1,” Councilman Joseph Emminger said. “You will never hear me say ‘phase one’ again.”
Residents were quite leery of how the project would affect them at a public meeting in August discussing phase two. Many were worried about early-morning noise, unfavorable smells, as well as problems with motorists recklessly driving around road barriers.
But Ken Maving said there haven’t been too many issues.
“We’ve gotten a few complaints that we are going too fast, and got to peoples’ homes before we thought we would,” Maving said. “I don’t see it as a bad thing, though. The faster we go, the quicker we will get out of there.”
Maving also said that some roadways in front of driveways have been torn up, but contractors are set to pour concrete and repair those areas.
“They will be happy to have access to their driveways,” he said.
The Parker-Fries project is a four-phrase, multimillion dollar project that will improve the sewer line in the town. Phase two should be complete by fall of 2013.
If residents near the construction areas would like to contact the town regarding a problem, they should call the project’s hotline 362-8800.
Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.