Long-Term Control Plan Effort Continues

Information reprinted with permission of the Courier Times, local newspaper New Castle, Indiana www.thecouriertimes.com

Long-term control plan effort continues

Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 6:00 am

An unexpected run-in with an old gas line recently created a lot of unanticipated work, but an effort to separate New Castle’s sanitary and storm water sewer lines continues in the vicinity of the 1400 block of S. Memorial Drive.

New Castle Director of Public Works Dave Barker said Super X, the Wisconsin-based company hired to bore a passageway approximately 40 feet under Memorial Drive in which storm water will flow from near the back side of South Mound Cemetery and Bundy Avenue to Big Blue River, was expected to begin that phase of the effort either Monday or today. He anticipates the boring effort will take two to three weeks.

The boring crew was surprised when it recently discovered a 10-inch steel natural gas main buried almost exactly at the same level they planned to work.

“Years ago, when they put that gas line in, there was a valley there,” New Castle Mayor Greg York explained. “We’re talking back when State Road 3 was probably still two lanes. It just so happens that gas line is just below the top of where we were getting ready to bore through. All of the digging and work that you’ve seen along State Road 3 recently was never part of the plan, it’s all additional work and additional expense that wasn’t planned. If that line, which was probably put in 80 years ago, was two foot higher or four foot lower, it would have saved us a lot of headache.”

The area involved is full of fill, and equipment used to locate underground objects failed to “see” the gas main because of all the other debris buried nearby, the mayor said.

Barker said those doing the work had no choice but to call in Vectren and ask them to relocate the gas main in question so the boring operation could proceed.

“They had to dig that old line up and put a valve on each end of it so they could shut it down and move it,” Barker said. “Now, they’re putting a new gas line in at their normal depth, about 5-feet below grade.”

Mayor York thanked Vectren for working with the city on relocating the gas line, and also thanked Duke Energy for relocating several utility poles that were causing problems for the crews working on the long-term control plan.

It’s not yet clear how much money the gas line relocation effort is eventually going to add to the project’s bottom line, but both Barker and Mayor York agreed it will be at least a few hundred thousand dollars.

Fortunately, the previous work done in conjunction with the long-term control project came in approximately $160,000 under budget, the mayor said, so much of the additional cost the gas main discovery caused will be offset by those savings.

Boring under Ind. 3 is not expected to disrupt traffic, Barker said.

In other news, the Board of Works, which met Monday, paid the first of several bills that will result from an effort to install a larger sewer line in the vicinity of the Jamestown Village apartments on Ind. 3.

The mayor said the sewer line there gets smaller, which is creating a bottleneck. Replacing the smaller line will allow for growth south of town in the future.

“The long-term plan is to take water and sewer lines all the way down along 300 South to Ind. 103. ... We want that to be ready for any business that might want to locate here years down the road,” the mayor said.