Sharon travelers can expect more traffic tie-ups in the coming weeks as crews repair downtown roads where waterlines have been replaced over the last few months.
Repaving of West State Street in downtown Sharon will begin on Monday, Aqua America construction coordinator Robert S. Kimmel said.
David Construction Co., Hermitage, will pave West State from South Irvine to the Shenango River Bridge, Kimmel said. The project includes full-width pavement from curb-to-curb, he said.
They’ll also be repaving North Water Avenue from State to Silver Street, he said.
The paving was pushed back due to delays in permitting through various state agencies and a “pretty stringent testing policy” for water mains, Kimmel said.
The new 24-inch water mains will serve the Sharon area for the next 50 years, Kimmel said. Some of the lines they replaced were 100 years old.
The $5 million project in Sharon is part of the $12 million budget for Aqua’s Shenango Valley division this year, Kimmel said.
They had be sure the water coming through the pipes would be safe for people to use before they could do trench restoration, he said.
That involved pressure testing, adding chlorine and leaving it sit for two days, flushing the mains and two negative bacteria tests before the pipes can be put into service, Kimmel said.
When the project began, they didn’t have a source of supply to fill the main, Kimmel said. By the end of the day Friday he said they would be able to fill the mains that go across Budd Street and down Irvine all the way to Madison Street.
A tentative schedule has also been set for other streets in downtown Sharon where Aqua replaced water mains.
Kirila Contractors, Brookfield, will restore the pavement on Vine Avenue, Silver Street, and Railroad Street the week of May 24 and on Connelly Boulevard and Dock Street the week of June 14, according to information Kimmel gave to City Manager Tom Lavorini.
The dates for repaving Budd Street and Irvine Avenue from Ellsworth Avenue to Budd has yet to be determined. It will depend on the supply of water to fill the new mains but Kimmel said they’re “about ready to move on that.”
Kimmel said the Irvine trench has been beaten down by the “overwhelming amount of truck traffic” from the PennDOT detour for the closed U.S. Route 62 bridges.
Former Aqua Pennsylvania President Bob Liptak, who retired last week, addressed concerns from business owners and citizens at Sharon council meetings as the work progressed.
A couple of people expressed frustration with the work, which was done while the three bridges on U.S. Route 62 into Ohio are closed and while state Route 60 is being widened in the city.
Liptak said they chose to make the improvements while the other projects were under way to limit the length of time roadways in the city are closed.
Aqua also has water main projects scheduled in Sharon for the fourth quarter of the year, Kimmel said.
They’ll replace pipe on Heinz Avenue and on South Stateline Road between Ohio Street and Ulp Street.
And in 2012, another major effort will include work on East State Street from Sharpsville Avenue in Sharon to Androla Avenue in Hermitage, Kimmel said.