Storm sewer project expands, triples cost

Fixing a collapsed storm sewer line under North Main Street is going to cost another $140,000 after contractors found other drainage structures under the initial collapsed section which should be replaced.

Winchester City Manager Matt Belcher said workers found another storm sewer line made of stacked stone underneath the collapsed pipe, which initially forced the street closure for repairs.

“In an effort to prevent future collapses, we decided to dig up the older pipe and replace it while we’re there,” Belcher said.

Work was delayed while engineers designed new plans, he said, but workers were back on site Friday and plan to work seven days a week. Even so, work will take another four weeks to complete, he said.

“The bad thing is it’s right in the middle of the road,” Belcher said. “It’s old, it’s deep and it’s a main artery.”

The street was closed in late March in front of the Winchester Municipal Utilities office after the street was starting to crack. The initial investigation found a storm sewer line had collapsed and washed away the ground had underneath the street.

The Winchester Board of Commissioners approved an emergency contract of more than $73,000 to repair the pipe and fill under the street. Now, Belcher said it will cost about $217,000 to repair both lines.

“We’ve got to fix this,” Belcher said. “We don’t want to dig it up again.”

The commissioners will discuss the situation during their regular meeting Tuesday afternoon. Belcher said the additional cost will likely be paid with municipal aid funds. As an emergency project, the city does not have to go through the usual bid process and can accept a price quote or proposal. Lagco was the only company to submit a proposal for the initial project at $73,368.