New water lines, tower coming in Duncansville

DUNCANSVILLE – Cold and snowy weather hasn’t stopped contractors from getting started on a $2.2 million waterline and water tank replacement project in Duncansville and Allegheny Township.

“Diehl’s Construction has been working on this for the last two weeks, during the bitter cold and now the snow,” senior project manager Stu Sibold said Thursday. “They seem to go at it no matter what, and they’ve made some pretty good progress.”

The Duncansville Municipal Authority has long wanted to replace waterlines that contribute to pressure problems for some households in the borough and in the Maple Hollow residential area of Allegheny Township. Some of the waterlines supplying those households were installed 100 years ago.

“We’ve been seeing some pretty cruddy pipes, but that’s no surprise,” Sibold said. “We knew they were going to be there.”

The project’s schedule indicates that the contractors, as of Monday, will be working on Sixth Street in Duncansville, heading west toward the intersection at 12th Street. Work will continue toward 13th Street and require a one-day closing of the 13th Street intersection for the underground work.

As the project progresses, Sibold said additional temporary road closings and detours will be required.

By the first week of March, crews are expected to be in the area near Sixth Avenue and 14th Street.

“When that happens, 14th Street will need to be closed to traffic in the work zone,” Sibold said. “The road closure will be intersection to intersection, as the work progresses.”

In mid-to-late March, construction crews working on Maple Hollow Road will force motorists to use detours via Mill Road and Kuhn Lane. Signs will be posted closer to the time when detours are necessary, Sibold said.

In addition to replacing waterlines, the project calls for installation of a 430,000-gallon water storage tank, probably in March or April. Sibold said the new tank will be installed beside the old tank. Once the new tank is ready for use, the old tank will be abandoned and taken down.

The authority is using a Pennvest loan, plus $100,000 from a reserve account, to cover the cost of the project. Pennvest announced last year that it would make up to $2.5 million available for the project. Construction bids came in about $300,000 under budgeted figures.

The project is not expected to require an increase in water rates. When the Pennvest loan was approved, authority secretary Don Rabenstein said the authority had just paid off some bonds, so it could divert the revenue for those payments toward the Pennvest loan payments.

The Pennvest loan includes a 1.54 percent interest rate for the first five years and a 2.079 percent for the remaining 15 years.

In addition to Diehl’s Construction, the other contractors working on the project are Mid Atlantic Storage Systems of Washington Court House, Ohio, which is handling the water tank construction; DC Venture of Duncansville, which is handling the tank site improvements; and Bob Biter Electrical Enterprises Inc. of Cresson, which is handling the electric.

When the project is finished, the contractors will have installed about 6,700 feet of waterline and 15 new fire hydrants.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.