Innovative technique will save money, speed 230 project
Another busy season of construction is on tap in Middletown as work continues to update the Borough’s aging water and sewer infrastructure.
This time it is the Route 230/Main Street corridor that will be the focus as crews rehabilitate almost a mile of sewer and water mains beneath the Borough’s main east-west artery.
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The project, set to get underway in late March, will replace or rehabilitate around 6,000 linear feet of severely deteriorated and failing sanitary sewer lines. The water main along the entire route will also be replaced. Work is being timed to be completed in August, when PennDOT plans to repave Route 230.
“When the project is done, everything along Route 230 will have been replaced or rehabilitated so the Borough and United Water will have no need to dig it up after it is repaved,” said Josh Fox, of HRG, the engineers for the project.
By doing the work prior to PennDOT’s repaving project, Middletown will save more than $250,000 that would have been spent on asphalt for repaving the street if the Borough had to repave it. Even larger savings will come from using innovative cured-in-place resin lining to rehabilitate many sections of the sanitary sewer mains.
The process involves pulling a resin saturated fiber tube through the existing pipes. That tube is then expanded using water or air pressure, and heat cured. The result is a seamless, jointless pipe that is corrosion resistant and has an expected lifespan of more than 50 years.
Using the cured in place resin technology offers several advantages, not the least of which is cost savings. It costs around $40 per foot to use cured in place resin pipe. Traditional pipe costs around $110 per foot to replace.
Part of the savings comes from not having to dig a trench to replace the pipe. Instead the resin tube is inserted through existing manholes. This will be particularly beneficial in this case since Route 230 is built on a 12 to 16 inch thick reinforced concrete base.
To get an idea of how cost efficient the cured in place resin process is, consider this: The cost of the Route 230 project, which is nearly a mile long, is just over $2.5 million. That is just 60 percent more than last summer’s similar project on Union Street, even though the project is three times as long.
“We could not line the pipes on Union Street because the pipes were several different diameters and of varying pipe materials in the same sewer sections,” explained Fox.
Work on the project will begin east of Hoffer Street and will move west in five stages. Trucks and most through traffic will be detoured using state Route 283. Local traffic detours will shift with each stage of the project.
Emergency contingency plans will be in place should something happen that shuts down Route 283. Detour plans also will be coordinated with the traffic control plan for this summer’s downtown streetscape enhancement project on Union Street.