Water mains to be installed next week

A contractor plans to replace existing old mains and install two new mains beneath Arch Street in Newberry, starting Monday.

The project could take up to six weeks, bringing it to the start of November, according to Charles Hauser, director of engineering with the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority.

The project will disrupt traffic starting Monday, with full-lane closure, and a primary detour will be in effect, he said.

Contractor Michael F. Ronca and Sons, of Allentown, will replace older cast-iron lines with more flexible ones, including a 24-inch main and a 12-inch main, which are side-by-side pipes, on Arch Street, from West Fourth Street south to Glynn Avenue, said Rebecca Haladay, city engineer.

The estimated $500,000 to $600,000 project will take up 850 feet of Arch Street, including Good Alley. The work will require a detour on West Third, to Trenton Avenue and West Fourth Street.

Anyone living in this part of the city may access their houses using alleys, Hauser said. Residents in that section of the city will receive written notifications posted on their doors.

The purpose of the replacements is to improve system reliability and improve fire hydrant flows, Hauser said.

The project will help with water flow for the entirety of Newberry and Jaysburg, a problem existing for many years and causing havoc whenever firefighters need strong pressure and flow to put out fires, Hauser said.

Crews anticipate working four, 10-hour days but are planning for any weather delays, he said.

The project has been paid for through a $2.7 million grant the authority received from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Hauser said.

City projects and excavation inspector David Columbine will have responsibility of ensuring excavation is done correctly and a base repair is done up to specifications. A complete milling and overlay will be done in the spring, according to Joseph Gerardi, city codes administrator.

A “skin” coat will be applied before winter so drivers don’t experience as many problems with the project area, he said.