Final project this week could lead to levee certification

By Frank Lewis

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Could the certification of the levee in Portsmouth be just around the corner? Portsmouth Waterworks Director Rick Duncan is hoping the final project will be completed this week and that will complete the filing for the certification.

“That lining project that I’ve been trying to get done at 12th street, the company is supposed to be in this week and do that lining,” Duncan said. “It’s the one that I’ve been trying to get done for the last couple of months and they’ve (Van Dam Associates) had a couple of delays on it, but they should be in this week to do that.”

The lining is to correct the problem caused by a sinkhole at pump station 2 in the levee opposite OSCO Industries.

“It’s a four-foot diameter pipe and we’ve had some corrosion in it,” Duncan said. “It was put in in the 60s or the 50s. So they’re going to pull a new liner through that. Then they will fill in the space between the old pipe and the new pipe and then we’ll be able to certify that pipe for the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) certification.”

The sinkhole was visible above ground and the original thought was that a pipe had shifted and the original estimate was for somebody to fix a small segment of pipe and then to fill the sinkhole. That original estimate was just $18,000, but eventually it ballooned to $100,000.

With obstacles arising at nearly every point of the project including the hiring of two firms to do studies, the process has taken a lot longer than originally expected which has caused the village of New Boston to have to wait though they have been done with their part of the process for quite some time. On Monday Duncan watched with anticipation as the work began.

“It will be a big relief,” Duncan said.

Duncan said the city will also erect two floodgates this weekend.

“We’re putting up all the floodgates this year,” Duncan said. “It’s such a big job we’re having the Ohio National Guard help us out with some of them. They were in last month and they did three of our gates and this coming weekend (Oct. 17 and 18) they’re going to come in and do two more.”

Those floodgates are located at Front and Madison streets and Front and Court streets.

“The (U.S.) Corps of Engineers wants us to put up every gate this year, basically just to be sure that we have all the materials to put the floodgates up and that we know how to do it and that there’s nothing missing – no problems,” Duncan said. “Plus, we’ve got a new supervisor in that department and basically we just want to get all the gates put up.”

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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