McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 20, 2014

Rocks challenge CIP crews

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — It’s been rough and rocky going.

Construction workers at the site of the city’s 17th Street project have found the going a little tougher than they figured.

Workers with Double S Construction Company, a subcontractor at the site, have been using heavy equipment to try and hammer and bang their way through thick layers of rock they’ve encountered below ground level.

Ongoing work along 17th Street is part of a more than half-million dollar project — the first under the capital improvements program to reconstruct some of the streets in the city, as well as relocating water and sewer lines underneath the streets.

Workers were finding it slow going on 17th Street between Wichita and Seminole avenues on Tuesday, however. They were utilizing a jackhammer attached to heavy equipment at one point to try and push through the rocky subterranean material.

Asked if he had expected to have encountered so much rock, Double S Construction owner Bill Scott, of Poteau, said “We were told to expect some rock; we didn’t know how much.”

As workers operated the heavy equipment, new

10-inch water pipes lay at the edge of the street, ready to be set to replace the existing water lines underneath 17th Street after the excavations were completed. Plans called for the existing sewer lines to be replaced by new eight-inch lines.

Despite encountering the rocky areas, Scott felt confident his portion of the project would not be unduly delayed.

“We should have it done in two or three weeks,” Scott said, speaking of his company’s part of the work. The entire 17th Street project has been projected to be finished by June 2014.

The 17th Street project, awarded to Austin Paving LLC in Stillwater, is projected to cost at least $584,042, with $547,382 of the money coming from bond revenues, plus another $36,000 from the city of McAlester.

Plans call for 17th Street to be completely reconstructed between South and Comanche avenues.

City officials decided to go ahead and relocate the existing water and sewer lines now underneath the street in an effort to avoid having to tear into the new street after work has been completed in case water or sewer line repairs are needed in the future.

Contact James at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.