Third Street manhole project costs $83,000


By Frank Lewis - [email protected]



If you were wondering what the final cost was to the Third Street sewer repair, that number is now available. The city of Portsmouth will pay Distel Construction $83,406.

An ordinance was fast tracked through the city council agenda Monday night that would authorize payment for the project out of Wastewater Fund 621 and approve the waiving of the requirement of the bidding process for a project over $50,000.

On May 12, 2016, a sewer collapsed on Third Street between Market Street and Jefferson Street, just south of the Community Action building.

“The went to the manhole and there was manhole structuring, it was gone,” City Manager Derek K. Allen said. “City crews opened up the pavement, realized it was too big and too deep, so we called Distel out to see if they could replace the manhole structure. Somebody from Distel crawled down into the 48-inch pipe and he reached an area where the sewer had collapsed and he was able to stand up, so we’re lucky a car didn’t fall through that.”

They opened the manhole to the east and while probing they found the brick structure had washed out. City crews televised the sewer east of Market Street to Madison Street and it was apparent two manhole structures and 200 feet of pipe had collapsed.

Allen emailed city council that the situation existed and they declared it an emergency.

“The repair was made. It was $83,000 and the city purchased the pipe and the pipe was $11,000,” Allen said. “So since it was over the $50,000 threshold limit, the city has to declare it an emergency, which it was.”

Third Ward Councilman Kevin E. Johnson thanked Allen for his efforts.

“I want to thank the city manager for his communication on this,” Johnson said. “What potentially could have been a devastating event was handled very professionally. You sir, in communicating with us, Distel did a good job. Our city workers did a good job. So I would like to just thank those that answered the call on this.”

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

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

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

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