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Water company landmark building on East Carson Street set for demolition

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The cream-colored building with brown trim that stands at the crest of East Carson Street, serving as a pump station for Pennsylvania American Water Co. for more than 100 years, will come down this weekend.

The demolition, along with fencing and cosmetic fixes and the installation of emergency generators, are the final parts of Pennsylvania American's $90 million project geared to upgrade infrastructure, meet new federal and state mandates, and provide safety for those at the Becks Run Pumping Station and Hays Mine Water Treatment Plant, project manager Jay Lucas said.

“We're nearing the home stretch,” Lucas said. “This is the beginning of a new era.”

Crews will close East Carson Street, between Becks Run and Glass Run roads, from 7 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Monday to allow the demolition by subcontractor Noralco to be done safely, Lucas said.

“They're just worried about debris falling on the road,” said Lucas, noting the building closely abuts East Carson Street. “There's no room for error.”

Detour signs will be in place.

The project, at the Baldwin Borough/Pittsburgh border, which began in June 2010, included the construction of a new pump station near the Becks Run/East Carson intersection. The pump station pulls raw water from the river and pumps it up the hill to the water treatment facility.

“The existing pumps had outlived their useful life,” Lucas said.

The new pump station was built outside of the flood plain and went into operation several months ago.

The old and new pump stations were used simultaneously for several weeks to ensure a smooth transition, Lucas said.

“We kept the old one in operation, just in case,” he said. “We took it very slow.”

A month ago, pipes that connected the old station to the Monongahela River were severed.

Once the demolition is complete, emergency generators — a new venture for this water facility — will be installed in the location of the old pump station.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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