Work on intersection at mercy of weather

A city intersection will not be paved until the middle of April, according to a spokesman for the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority. Meanwhile motorists will continue to deal with rough streets created by a water main replacement project that continues to drag on months after it began.

Mother Nature plays a key role in the delay of the permanent paving at West Third and Arch streets, said Chuck Hauser, authority director of engineering.

Plants that manufacture asphalt can’t start to make it until it gets warmer, he said.

Potholes that were dug up by snowplow trucks have been filled with temporary patch, Hauser added.

The primary contractor, Mazzucca Enterprises, of Pottsville, encountered additional unexpected problems due to the age of the water mains, Hauser said.

The $3 million project to replace the water mains and provide better flow for fire services was completed in early February, but the paving remains the final step on the job, Hauser said.

Last year at this time, temperatures were, on most days, close to 70 degrees in the afternoon.

With the recent snow and unstable temperatures in March, Hauser did not anticipate pavers to be able to get a coating of asphalt onto the bumpy intersection until the middle of next month.

“We’re hoping it warms up next week, but it will probably take a little longer before the paving can begin,” he said.

The replacement of the lines, some of which were more than a half-century old, provides higher flows for fire hydrants.

It is an extension of a water main replacement project that took water service to DuBoistown underneath the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

Once the paving is done, Hauser is hopeful motorists using the intersection will see permanent conditions. The replacement of the lines will hopefully not result in having to repair them or dig up the intersection for many years, he said.