ShareThis Page
News

Sewer dispute over; project to end soon

| Friday, Jan. 10, 2003

While the state will remain responsible for Indiana Road after a sewer installation project is completed, Penn Hills will end a long-standing dispute by taking over maintenance of streets and sewers in the Newport Square townhouse development.

Two change orders and about $40,000 later, the Indiana Road sewer project is expected to be completed in about two weeks, Penn Hills Water Pollution Control Department director James Schaffer said.

The total cost of the project, originally bid at $78,000 over the summer and expected to take about 45 days, is now more than $119,245, which is closer to municipal officials' earlier estimates on the work. The cost includes replacing failing septic tanks on four houses and extending sewer lines to three undeveloped properties along Indiana Road near Hulton Road.

Then in the fall, municipal officials encountered problems in obtaining an easement from one of the property owners, requiring the contractor, Nicassio Enterprises, to move equipment off-site, adding more than $30,000 to the cost of the project.

All easement issues have been settled. However, officials with the state Department of Transportation determined that an existing manhole was too close to the road.

Concern focused on the volume of traffic that travels on the road and the possibility of a partial collapse resulting from the current location of the manhole.

"If we had not agreed to move the manhole and sewers, we would have been responsible for fixing the road if it ever gave way," Schaffer said. "This in effect eliminates us from having to take care of any future problems with the road."

Deputy Mayor Peggy Denham said the municipality's options are limited.

"The state didn't force us," Denham said. "It's more of a case of it being our road or their road."

The municipality will assume ownership and take over maintenance of streets and sewers in the Newport Square townhouse development, located off Duff Road.

There are 103 townhouses already built, with another 29 units planned along Newport and Shadywood drives, which previously were considered private streets.

"This is an issue that's been around for 10 years," said municipal Manager John Brennan. "But it was only recently that it wound up in court."

Council earlier rejected the same request from Amore Companies of Monroeville, developers of Newport Square, prompting them to file a lawsuit in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to force the municipality to accept the streets and sewers in the development.

Judge Joseph James ordered negotiations that resulted in a consent decree reached Dec. 17.

"They had to provide some additional documentation, do some repairs to the roads and sewers, and they also paid the municipality to flush out the lines with a high pressure jet," Schaffer said. "Most of the improvements have now been done."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me