McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 28, 2014

Seventeenth Street project expanding

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — The  more the one-half million dollar Seventeenth Street project for the city of McAlester has gotten a little costlier, now rising above the $600,000 mark.

Workers attributed the need for the change to sewer services, or lines, that were unknown when the project began, that were conflicting with plans for a new water main along the street.

Making the changes is designed to alleviate the necessity at some point in the future of the city having to tear into Seventeenth Street for underground sewer repairs once the current street Capital Improvement Project reconstruction job is completed.

The lines originate  from private homes and ultimately reach the city’s right-of-way, where new city sewer lines are being installed.

City Manager Pete Stasiak said the city will not work on the portion of the lines that are on private property, but will pick up the project at the city right-of-way.

“We don’t touch anything on private property,” Stasiak said Friday.

Stasiak said there’s a 45-degree angle in the line at one point.

“Anywhere there’s a 45-degree angle, there should be a clear-out,” he said, referring to a manhole that would enable city workers to clear out the line in the future, if necessary.

Actually, two new manholes are needed, according to the revised plan.

“They’re going to put a new manhole in the right-of-way and a new manhole in the middle of the street,” Stasiak said.

City Engineer John Modzeleski asked for a time extension and a cost increase for the project, currently under way on the east side of McAlester.

McAlester city councilors on last Tuesday approved the change order, adding $27,439.12 more to the original $584,042.05 project, bringing the new  total to $611,481.17.

In addition, city councilors approved a seven day time extension for the project, due to severe winter weather which halted or slowed construction. A new date for substantial completion of the project has now been set for July 8.

A Request for Information, from the contractor on the project, Austin Paving, of Stillwater, outlined the need for the change order.

After coming from the private homes, the two existing sewer lines —one a six-inch line an the other a four-inch line —  are lain in the water main ditch with a four-inch reversible grade.

The four-inch line is reduced to a three-inch cast iron line and then ties into a six-inch line through a wye, or y-shaped object, according to city documents.

Regarding the other line, the six-inch line was previously incorrectly repaired with six-inch PVC. according to a city report. The six-inch sewer line runs northwest to a wye in the center of the Seminole Avenue and Seventeen Street intersection  “with no clean or clear access point.”

In the middle of the Seventeenth Street and Seminole Avenue intersection, the line turns 45 degrees and heads  110 feet due west through a six-inch clay line along the center line of Seminole Avenue, to a manhole in the center of Seminole, according to the report.

Austin Paving recommended proper repair of the sewer line “to alleviate future problems beneath the new concrete roadway.”

Plans call for installing one new four-foot manhole on the city right-of-way, then a second new manhole  at the wye where the two lines intersect. Sixty-five linear feet of new eight-inch PVC line would be installed between the two new manholes, with another 110 linear feet of new eight-inch PVC to be installed between the new manhole to be constructed in the middle of the Seventeenth Street and Seminole Avenue intersection to the existing manhole in the center of Seminole Avenue.

City officials say with the new construction, the city should be spare the necessity of tearing up the newly-constructed street because of any future sewer problems.

In addition to the street and sewer work, plans call for laying new 20-inch PVC water line through the neighborhood, with the water lines also being rerouted from under the street.

Contact James Beaty at