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Parkersburg Utility Board approves contracts, change order

Parkersburg Utility Board Manager Eric Bennett speaks during the PUB meeting Wednesday at the utility’s offices. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Utility Board this week approved contracts for two projects and an amendment to the study preparing for a sewer expansion in the Marrtown area.

The board received only one bid for repair of a water line beneath Fourth Street and Garfield Avenue. Stonegate Construction Inc. of Belpre bid $184,635 for the project, which was originally estimated at about $170,000.

Craig Richards, project engineer with Burgess & Niple, said during Wednesday’s meeting that receiving a few or even a single bidder has not been uncommon lately, with the economy doing well and a number of projects in the works.

“It’s not a real big job, and it’s also a little bit of a challenging job,” he said.

Utility Board Manager Eric Bennett said the contractor will have to connect into an existing 10-inch water line on the easterly side of Ann Street, which will require at least two lanes to be closed. The work will have to be performed at night, per West Virginia Division of Highways policy, while traffic is maintained on the Belpre Bridge.

Burgess & Niple project engineer Craig Richards, left, discusses a project during the Parkersburg Utility Board meeting on Wednesday at the PUB offices as fellow project engineer Derrick Fairbanks listens. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

The line broke earlier this year, and the board voted to go with an interim repair to connect it to another nearby line in order to avoid potential reduced water pressure or fire flow in the downtown area. So far that has not been an issue, Bennett said, but it could happen if additional demand is placed on another large line.

The board voted 5-0 to approve Stonegate’s bid.

Another unanimous vote approved a bid of $48,560 from Intertek PSI, which has offices in Parkersburg, to provide geotechnical services in preparation for the construction of deep sewer interceptor lines along the Little Kanawha River and Neal Run, leading to the First Avenue pumping station.

Part of the utility’s efforts to reduce sanitary sewer overflows, these lines would eliminate the need for pumping stations at Kanawha Street and Summers Street as part of the utility’s efforts to reduce sanitary sewer overflows.

“It’s more expensive to operate and maintain a pump station than it is a gravity pipe,” Bennett said Friday.

The board also voted 5-0 Wednesday to authorize an amendment to its engineering agreement with Burgess & Niple for preliminary design and estimates for the extension of sewer service in the Marrtown area. Additional work is needed, in an amount not to exceed $18,700, to prepare preliminary engineering reports for the two proposed phases of the project to meet the requirements of the West Virginia Infrastructure, Jobs and Development Council, the agency through which some funding would come.

The expansion could add approximately 70 customers for the PUB. It’s expected to be done in two phases, one for about $3 million along Marrtown Road and the other for approximately $1.3 million in the Hill Avenue area, Richards said.

In other business, Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce, the utility board chairman, asked members and staff to consider a change in the meeting schedule. The board meets every other Wednesday and Joyce suggested looking at a different day or perhaps meeting once a month. He said they could discuss it more at the next meeting at 9 a.m. Oct. 30.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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