The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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August 20, 2013

More line replacement work ahead

City authority targets 4 areas for spring

JOHNSTOWN — Work on main sewer line replacements continues to disrupt traffic patterns in several neighborhoods, and there is more to come, Johnstown Redevelopment Authority leaders warned.

At its meeting Tuesday, the authority moved forward with the last of three phases of work financed by Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority low-interest loans.

Work should begin next spring on

sewer replacement in the Southmont Boulevard, Franklin Street, Roxbury and 8th Ward areas after the authority on Tuesday approved a resolution to have The EADS Group start design work for the

project.

It is all part of the massive response to state Department of Environmental Protection orders to eliminate sewage overflows during periods of high rainfall across Greater Johnstown.

Stormwater entering the sewage system overloads the Dornick Point sewage treatment plant, creating pollution in area streams.

Next year’s work is planned in conjunction with PennDOT’s project to replace a catch basin at Southmont Boulevard and Franklin Street.

The state will cover half the authority’s cost to move its sewer line, as required for the PennDOT project.

Sewer, water and natural gas lines will be affected by the project, authority Solicitor William G. Barbin said.

Because those lines are located in the PennDOT right of way, the state can require the owners to relocate them, as needed, at the owners’ expense, Barbin said. A state law allows PennDOT to cover half the cost for municipalities and their authorities.  

The first $9 million PennVEST loan has been used to develop a flow monitoring system and begin replacement work in the Sell Street area, engineer Steve Sewalk of The EADS Group said.

Also on Tuesday, the authority finalized a funding stream to keep work moving on the current project, which includes parts of Hornerstown, Moxham, Walnut Grove and Roxbury.

A resolution was approved establishing a $5 million line of credit with Northwest Savings Bank to cover contractors’ invoices until the state releases PennVEST money to reimburse the authority, said Wayne D. Gerhold, a Pittsburgh attorney handling the interim loan.

“PennVEST has a reimbursement system,” Gerhold said. “It’s a whole review process before they draw down the loan money.

“The authority has to get some interim funding, or bridge funding, to make sure the contractors in the project get paid on time.”

Randy Griffith covers Johnstown Redevelopment Authority for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/photogriffer57.

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