Middletown needs more work on sewer line that runs under Forest Hills after collapses

Middletown City Council approved another contract modification to replace another 590 feet of the North Interceptor sewer line after a collapse was found in the line. CONTRIBUTED/CITY OF MIDDLETOWN
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Middletown City Council approved another contract modification to replace another 590 feet of the North Interceptor sewer line after a collapse was found in the line. CONTRIBUTED/CITY OF MIDDLETOWN

Middletown has discovered more repair work than expected is needed on a sewer line that goes through Forest Hills Country Club.

Scott Tadych, city public works/utilities director, said Howell Contractors was hired by the city to replace 875 feet of 48-inch-diameter sewer after a collapse occurred in the North Interceptor Line on March 2.

The company was later contracted to replace an additional 650 feet of pipe after two more collapses happened during the week of May 18 when storms produced more than five inches of rain in a short period, he said.

ExplorePipe replacement at Forest Hills Country Club to cost up to $1M in Middletown

Officials inspected the sewer immediately upstream on Second Avenue between Carmody Boulevard and Water Street, and the pipe showed signs of severe deterioration. An additional 590 feet of pipe need to be replaced, in a third project.

He said the additional repair was expected to take about one month, weather permitting, and will require the closure of Second Avenue to through traffic. A starting date has not been set.

The repair of the first two sections will cost approximately $1.6 million, and $2 million was authorized initially for the project, leaving a $400,000 balance. The latest section in replacement project is about $800,000, which will require another $400,000 from the Sewer Capital Reserve Fund.

“You never know with collapses as they hard to predict,” he said. “There will be more work to do on the North Interceptor over the next few years.”

Tadych said the North Interceptor is nearly three miles long and 90% has already been rehabilitated. He said other pipes coming into that line will be rehabilitated over time.

ExploreMiddletown to plan next project in $269M work mandated by EPA

The costs of this project will count toward Middletown’s 25-year $269 million Long Term Control Plan with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The city will construct storage basins and other improvements to its sewer system and sewage treatment plant to reduce untreated sewer overflows. That settlement between Middletown and the EPA was finalized in early 2018.

According to the EPA, the city discharged millions of gallons of untreated sewage each year from its sewer system during and after rain events through its eight “combined sewer overflow” outfalls. Untreated sewage can contain disease-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites, as well as pollutants that can harm aquatic life.

ExploreFirst phase of 25-year Middletown project nearing completion at Sunset Park

Tadych said the first project in the plan, costing $2.71 million, is nearing completion. It included a new water main, curbs, sidewalks and storm sewer on Sheldon Road between Kenwood and Santa Fe drives and a new playground and other renovations at Sunset Park. He said the park is slated to reopen to the public in the next few weeks.

Tadych said the next project in the plan, the $10 million to $12 million Lakeside Stormwater Redirection Project, is expected to begin in 2022.

Also during 2022, the first of two underground storage basins will be designed. The first underground basin will be constructed near the downtown area and will cost an estimated $40 million. The second will be constructed near Barnitz Stadium sometime in 2043, according to the federal consent decree.

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