Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

October 9, 2013

Transit-Robinson repair costs higher than expected

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The repair of a sewer line and sinkhole at the South Transit and Robinson roads intersection will cost three times the original estimate, according to Town of Lockport officials.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith said the extensive work done in July and August will cost about $90,000.

The work will also cause the town’s 2013 contract with Mark Cerrone, Inc., a Niagara Falls company, to increase by $100,000 to a total of $213,000. The raise is only to cover for the rest of the year.

For years the town has contracted with a private company to handle emergency utility repair work as jobs arise. Cerrone Inc. has the contract for the first time this year, taking over from J.R. Swanson Plumbing.

Until this year, the annual tab was fairly steady and nowhere near what it is this year. The contract rate is being raised out of necessity, according to Smith.

”We didn’t have enough to pay for the Transit repair and get us through the rest of the year,” he said.

The problem at South Transit and Robinson started July 25. The roughly 40-year-old concrete sewer main backed up into nearby buildings, the result of the line being clogged. The sinkhole opened July 29 and the sidewalk collapsed the next morning.

It’s believed the stress of the soil and road eventually led to the pipe breaking, town officials said. Afterwards, a town water line broke Aug. 6.

The presence of a number of underground utility lines – such as a 30-inch county water main – slowed down the repair work considerably.

”It took quite a bit longer,” Smith said. “It just went from bad to worse.”

The cause of the sewer main break is unknown, although officials speculated that the concrete pipe may have been done in by years of vibration from heavy vehicle traffic at the corner.

The main serves Robinson Road and South Transit as far north as the town-city border and all residential streets east of South Transit.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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