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Town of Porter to hold public information hearings on waterline replacement project

Fri, Mar 17th 2023 09:10 am

$6 million-plus project to impact five areas of the town

√ Waterline project expected to take more than a year to complete

Staff Reports

Porter is in the planning stages for what is expected to be a significant water line replacement project affecting residences in certain areas of the town.

Estimated to cost $6.75 million according to Wendel, who serves as the town’s engineering consultant, the water line replacement project is intended to improve serviced residences on River Road and Youngstown Estates in the southern areas of the town. Also for St. Christopher Lane, Parker Road, Meadow Drive and Manor Drive in the town’s eastern areas.

The town announced this week it would hold two public information hearings during the last week of March. The first session will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, for residents on River Road and the Youngstown Estates neighborhood. The second will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, for residents of the St. Christopher Lane, Parker Road, Meadow Drive and Manor Drive neighborhoods. Both meetings will take place at Porter Town Hall at 3265 Creek Road.

Supervisor John “Duffy” Johnston said the sessions will include representatives of both the Town of Porter and Wendel.

“The engineering consultant will be available to discus the project and answer questions on an individual basis,” Johnston said.

Rob Klavoon, senior civil engineer and principal for Wendel, said, “The public information meetings will give the public an opportunity to look at the proposed set of design plans for the project and offer comments they may have. During the meeting, we will cover the scope of the project, what residents can expect during construction, construction duration, and the impact on residents. After the residents have an opportunity to ask questions, we will allow the residents to look over the plans on tables at Town Hall.”

According to the Wendel summary, the replacement project is expected to address a widespread problem of aging and low-capacity waterlines in many areas of the town.

It stated, “The Town’s water distribution system consists of several areas that include undersized pipes resulting in low pressures, lower water flows for firefighting, increased water line breaks and a concern of the reliability of the system as some waterlines are approaching 100 years old. There are also concerns that certain areas of the Town may still have lead water services. The Town has reported tuberculation and numerous breaks on River Road, resulting in reduced capacity and pressure. The Town has also had an average water loss of more than 25 percent during those past six years, reaching a maximum of 36 percent loss in 2018.”

Wendel said that, due to the age of the water lines, repair history and the resulting increased maintenance, the Town of Porter is looking “at replacing select waterlines with larger diameter pipes in five areas throughout the town. These areas total 14,700 linear feet of pipe replacement.”

Impacted areas include:

√ Area 1, Parker Road, a dead-end road off Ransomville Road where the existing 1,100 linear feet of 6-inch cast-iron waterline does not provide adequate pressure to residents.

√ Area 2, St. Christopher Lane, a dead-end road off of New Road, where the existing 900 linear feet of 6-inch cast-iron waterline also does not provide sufficient pressure.

√ Area 3, Meadow and Manor drives. Here, the roads intersect with Lockport Road and travel north to create a U-shaped loop. Meadow Drive continues east to Youngstown-Lockport Road. Wendel said the neighborhood has 1,700 linear feet of 6-inch cast-iron pipe waterlines that do not provide adequate pressure.

√ Area 4, Youngstown Estates. Affected areas include Riverview Drive, Walnut Lane, and Hillview and Parkdale drives. The waterlines consist mostly of 3,700 linear feet of 6-inch cast-iron pipe, which is undersized, according to Wendel.

√ Area 5, River Road. Wendel stated, “The existing 7,300 LF of 12-inch CIP waterline, which runs along River Road from the Village of Youngstown to the Town of Lewiston experiences frequent breaks, which results in the Town being cautious about increasing water pressure in the area. The Town also discovered that the 12-inch CIP has significant tuberculation, restricting the capacity pipe.”

At the sessions, Wendel is expected to present the options to property owners, which include “no action” and “replacement in location” alternatives.

The “no action” option would bear no cost to the town.

“However as the waterline continues to age, the risk of waterline break may increase, which results in significantly higher financial risk, and higher operational and maintenance costs to the Town of Porter,” the summary said.

Under the “replace in location” option, “the Town would replace select waterlines identified in the five project areas in approximately the same location as existing pipes. The Town would continue to own and maintain the water system and continue to purchase water from the NCWD (Niagara County Water District).

“The Town would be responsible for their own water operations, including customer service, billing, system maintenance and repairs, as well as capital improvements.”

Wendel said new water mains would be replaced “in approximately the same location as existing water mains” in compliance with current design standards and specifications.

As far as pipe replacements, existing 6-inch CIP pipes would be replaced with 8-inch PVC pipes in areas 1 through 4; and 12-inch CIP piping in area 5 would be replaced with 12-inch PVC. Wendel estimated a construction time frame of 12-13 months for the affected neighborhoods.

Wendel concluded “The proposed project will result in improving the water system in the Town of Porter by maintain a higher system pressure, increasing fire flows, restoring the integrity of water pipes and decreasing water loss. … In addition to the waterline project a Greenway Bike Trail will be constructed after the waterlines are completed, which will increase the aesthetics and recreational opportunities in the Town.”

At Monday’s board session, Johnston said the town is pursuing grant funding as well as contacting state and federal officials toward obtaining additional funding for the project.

“We’re working with sponsorship support to (State) Sen. Ortt and (Assemblyman) Angelo Morinello for our water line,” he said. “Congressman (Brian) Higgins team did call and they’re looking to back us with some money on the waterline. We’ve also (approached U.S. Sens. Charles) Schumer and (Kirsten) Gillibrand to get some money.”

Johnston projected the town’s cost of the waterline to be $6.4 million, “for the whole project. We’ll take whatever we can get. The lead grant is supposed to be coming up in April. We’re trying to stay shovel-ready (on this).”

For more information on the town’s proposed waterline replacement project with Wendel, Klavoon can be contacted via email at [email protected] or by calling 716-668-0766.

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