Tonawanda News

The Town

October 7, 2010

Sewer project free-flowing

TOWN OF TONAWANDA — The Parker-Fries sewer project has been moving right on schedule, and residents can expect crews to keep plugging away on the massive sewer line work through the winter.

That, of course, means there will still be detours and difficulties in some parts of the construction area. “When you do a project of this size, there are going to be inconveniences. There are going to continue to be inconveniences and disruptions,” Town Councilman Joe Emminger warned residents Wednesday night during a public information meeting held at Kenmore East High School.

It was the third informational meeting town leaders have conducted since the project began in June to explain to residents what the contractor has done within the past few months and what they can expect to see over the three months. Another meeting will be held in either December or January.

Dubbed the Parker-Fries Interceptor, the project is a massive effort to replace sanitary sewer pipes in the eastern portion of the town. Expected to take two years to complete, Parker-Fries is the first of four stages of sewer line work to be done in the town to replace aging and deteriorating pipes.

Crews have installed more than 3,100 feet of 48-inch sanitary sewer pipe on Parker Boulevard through open excavation, and are 175 feet into a 260-foot run of tunneling operations to install 84-inch pipe.

They’re currently working in three major zones:

• Koenig Circle is closed off at Woodstock Avenue for the installation of 72-inch piping that will progress underneath the nearby I-290. This area is expected to be closed until March.

• The intersection of Parker Boulevard and Eggert Road is impacted as crews proceed in a southeasterly direction along Eggert. The Parker/Eggert area is expected to remain closed for about three to four weeks before crews move on to the next intersection. At that point, Parker Boulevard at Eggert will be accessible.

• A large pit has been dug near the Parker Pump Station for boring activities to make way for installing 84-inch piping. The detour in that area is scheduled to remain in place through early December.

The tunneling work involves attaching the sewer pipes to a machine equipped with a cutting head. An operator is positioned a few feet back to make sure the machine is on track. “The piping actually gets pushed in and advances the tunneling machine,” said Dan Kolkmann with Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, the Buffalo engineering firm working with the town on the project.

The Parker-Fries project includes the installation of a new water line along the west side of Parker Boulevard. The contractor, Kandey Co. of West Seneca, initially planned on installing the water line in early 2012, but has bumped it up to next spring. John Kandefer of Kandey Co. said crews should have the water line finished by mid-summer so they can also repave Parker from Koenig to Eggert. “The water line is going to be less intrusive,” Kandefer assured residents.

With winter on the way, several residents who attended the meeting asked how snow plowing will be affected by the construction work. Kandefer said the company plans on working through the winter, with breaks only when conditions become unbearable.

Some also inquired whether the town’s winter parking ordinances will create problems for residents who can’t park in their driveway due to construction activities. Town officials and the contractor promised to work with residents to alleviate any issues that may arise during construction.

“We’ll certainly accommodate anybody,” said Ken Maving, the town’s Water Resources director. “We’re working closely with the police department. We’re trying to make this as painless as possible for the residents.”

Residents who spoke Wednesday seemed pleased with how the project has been handled. Parker Boulevard resident Libby Rasmussen lauded the contractor. “I want to compliment you on how accommodating you’ve been,” she said of the construction crews. “They even know the dogs’ names. They’ve been great,” Rasmussen said.

Ron Smith, a member of Zion United Church of Christ, located on Koenig Circle, right in the heart of one of the major construction zones, requested the town put up signage that directs church-goers to Zion’s entrance. “It’s extremely difficult to get into the church right now,” he said. “I think it would really help for the elderly people.” Maving said the town should be able to accommodate that request.

Officials also said they’re monitoring vibrations to ensure that construction doesn’t impact home foundations. One resident asked whether explosives will be required for crews to blast through hard rock. “It is very hard in parts but they’ve been able to break it,” Maving said. “Hopefully blasting would be a last resort.” If that’s the case, residents would be notified, he said.

For updates on the project, residents can visit www.ParkerFriesProject.com. There’s also a construction information/concerns phone line set up. Residents can call 362-8800 and leave a message. The service is checked daily.

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