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New Kensington Municipal Authority project 'on schedule'

| Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, 9:18 a.m.

The New Kensington Municipal Authority's wide-ranging capital improvement project is “right on schedule,” according to the authority's engineer.

Engineer Ed Schmitt updated the authority Thursday night on the status of the $5.7 million project.

It involves installing sections of new waterline in the Melwood Road/White Cloud Road area of Allegheny Township, as well as 27 streets in Arnold, New Kensington and Lower Burrell.

The project is being done by S&E Utility Contracting of Harrison City.

“We figure he's got about 43 per­cent of the pipe in the ground and it's probably going to slow down because of winter,” Schmitt said.Work will continue through the winter, and the project should be completed next June or July.

“He's right on schedule,” Schmitt said.

Craigdell Road update

Schmitt said the project is progressing well on Craigdell Road, which he called “a tough job.”

Part of the problem is that the water authority can't get the road repaved permanently until next spring.

Joe Colamartino, utilities administrator for PennDOT in the area, said it's too late in the year to pave with asphalt. “Because of the temperature swings, they wouldn't be able to get it.”

To get by over the winter, Colamartino said the authority could use what is normally a paving subsurface.

Then in the spring, according to PennDOT's Dave Gault , the authority would have to scrape off the rougher, temporary subsurface and repave with asphalt, which gives a smoother ride.

However, to fill the authority's waterline trench with those materials, the authority will have to act soon because Gault said the temperature has to be at least 35 degrees and rising.

Contractor gets ‘passing grade'

Looking at the overall project to this point, Schmitt said S&E deserves a “passing grade” and commended the company on its cooperation.

The project status to date, according to Schmitt, includes:

• Chester Drive in Lower Burrell and Virginia Drive from Chester to Craigdell Road along the Lower Burrell/New Kensington boundary, has the new line installed but paving needs to be done.

• Pipe has been installed along Freeport Road from McKean Street to Manor Road but more has to be put in place from Manor to Edgewood Road.

“He's going to Marlboro Drive in New Kensington and Reimer Street in Lower Burrell next,” Schmitt said.

• Installation of the waterline in Allegheny Township is complete, but there are still several minor items that have to be finished.

• Sections of Richmond Avenue and Kimball Avenue through Arnold and New Kensington are completely finished.

Schmitt said S&E has been paid $1.97 million out of the $5.7 million contract for work completed to date. He said that is about 34 percent of the project.

Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675 or tyerace@tribweb.com.

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