Sewer repairs on the horizon in Shamokin, Coal Township
WEIGH SCALES - A construction firm will be notified Monday to proceed with structural repairs to Shamokin-Coal Township Joint Sewer Authority infrastructure damaged by historic flooding in September 2011.
The authority board entered a contract last month totaling $1,239,063 with Doli Construction, Chalfont, to fix damage in the channels of Shamokin Creek and Carbon Run. The contractor has 180 days to complete the project, which would push the project into late August.
"This has to move pretty quickly," said Scott Keefer, authority engineer of Great Valley Consultants, citing government deadlines. "They're (Doli) poised to move."
Project costs will be fully reimbursed by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Doli Construction, which was the general contractor on the sewer separation project completed in the Springfield section of Coal Township, will be tasked to replace
portions of the main sewer interceptor line and either repair or replace 10 manholes.
To get heavy equipment into the creek channel, the authority received easements to create rock construction entrances and access ramps at four locations, including to the rear of Turkey Hill Minit Market on Third Street and near Rescue Fire Company in the Fifth Ward, both in Shamokin.
Authority officials said precautions must be made to keep from further damaging the historic stone channel of Shamokin Creek, including using padding on the wheels or tracks of heavy equipment and hanging tarp on creek walls near where work will be performed.
A pump system will be set up at certain points to bypass creek waters around the work site, and coffer dams will be used when working around manholes. Erosion and sediment controls must be put in place per state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations. Camera equipment will be used to assess interior damage inside existing sewer main, and will be cleaned as necessary.
When finished, the pumps or dams, control systems and access ramps must be removed.
Authority members have been working since the storm to have damage assessed and repaired. Their efforts were initially held up by the creek waters, which took several months to recede to normal levels, at which point an assessment could be made. After that came permit snafus in March and again in August.
The City of Shamokin is pursuing its own repairs in the channels of Shamokin Creek and Carbon Run. It had been awarded approximately $1.8 million in grant funding for flood control and historic preservation, and is pursuing an additional $1 million for the project, which has not yet been put to bid.