If the weather is cooperative and all goes according to plans, Sandy Lane from Warwick Avenue to Wilde’s Corner will reopen to traffic this Thursday.
As of Friday, replacement of more than 150 feet of sewer line and a manhole was completed and a bypass to the sewer line that ruptured on Thanksgiving eve causing sewage backups in 11 homes was shut down. On Monday, a National Grid gas crew was on site relocating a gas line that was exposed during repairs to the sewer line. The gas line was in close proximity to the manhole that was replaced.
That job was expected to be completed Monday, but with a forecast of rain for Tuesday, Matt Solitro, acting director of the Department of Public Works, said he is scheduling the paving of a permanent three-inch patch for Wednesday and the reopening of the full length of the road for Thursday.
But, warns Solitro, the road could be closed again in two to three weeks for additional sewer work. At issue are the pipes used when the system was installed more than 30 years go. Like the section of pipe that collapsed in late November, pictures of the remaining section of piping that eventually ties into the Cedar Swamp pumping station show a system that has been severely deteriorated by hydrogen sulfide gas and is close to collapsing.
Solitro said the photographs have been sent to vendors by the Warwick Sewer Authority to see whether the section of pipe stretching more than 1,100 feet is a candidate for CIPP (cured in place pipe) and what it would cost. As he explained, Solitro said a “sock” is fed into the defective pipe and then inflated. The skin of the “sock,” which is of material that is imperious to the gases produced by sewage, is then chemically activated and cures in place. A device that cuts holes into the pipe is used to allow for connecting lines to tie into the pipe.
Assuming the Sandy Lane section of sewer line is a candidate for CIPP, Solitro said the Sewer Authority would install a bypass to the affected area, and the actual work could be completed in a day. He said traffic would have to be detoured during the process.
But that short-term inconvenience would surely beat the alternative of unearthing and replacing the full length of pipe. It also would be “substantially” less costly, said Solitro. Based on projections made by WSA executive director Janine Burke-Wells shortly after condition of the pipe was discovered, unearthing and replacing the line could be in the range of $700,000. What’s more, it would take weeks, if not months, as has been the job of replacing the relatively short 150-foot stretch that has closed Sandy Lane.
Initially, the city sought to keep Sandy Lane open in both directions during heavy commuter periods by scheduling work between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. During construction, the road was reduced to southbound traffic only.
Solitro said Mayor Joseph Solomon sought to expedite the project and the traffic flow and the city came up with the existing detour with construction of a short section of road between Cedar Swamp Road and the road leading to the compost station behind the Mickey Stevens Sports Complex. The detour enabled closing the affected section of Sandy Lane and speeding up repairs.
Solitro said he plans to close off the detour road once Sandy Lane fully reopens, but will keep it in the event it is needed again. It would be opened again if CIPP were used to remedy the deteriorated pipe.
Solitro said Mayor Solomon is especially appreciative of Cedar Swamp Road residents whose once dead-end street has become a thoroughfare.
“They were used to having turkeys flying around and now it has become Sandy Lane,” he said.
Longer range and once the deteriorated section of pipe is remedied either by CIPP or replacement, Solitro said the patched section of Sandy Lane would be cold-planed and repaved. That would probably occur this summer, he said.
Meanwhile, Cedar Swamp Road goes back to a dead end and the turkeys are free to fly again as soon as Thursday.