Mark Hayward's City Matters: A sewer for the century
Joshua Rule of Dublin climbs down a ladder holding a bucket of concrete while patching the walls of a 26-foot-deep-access chamber to the city's main sewer line on Willow Street in Manchester on Wednesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Joshua Rule of Dublin climbs a ladder holding a bucket of concrete while patching a 26-foot-deep access chamber to the city's main sewer line on Willow Street in Manchester on Wednesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Fred McNeill thinks of streets as rivers.
Like some Neptunian god of water, McNeill and his crew of engineers and equipment operators are splicing that river in two.
"It's been a good job," said Shawn Adams, foreman for R.D. Edmunds & Sons, the Franklin firm doing the work. The dirt has a lot of sand, so it's easy to dig up and can be used to refill the trenches after the work is done, he said. Also, the city streets are wide, providing room to work.
This 20-year phase focuses on Cemetery Brook, which starts at Stevens Pond.
This summer's $8 million project involved new piping underneath lower Chestnut Street, which flooded several years ago in a storm, McNeill said.
This year's work on Chestnut Street is just about complete. The storm water pipe ends at a newly installed manhole on Willow Street. It measures 8-foot in diameter and is about 37 feet deep.
Of course, the work is expensive, and a reason my city sewer bill tops $500 a year. Ten years of West Side work is already completed, at a cost of $58 million. Phase III will be another 20 years and $200 million.
Mark Hayward's City Matters runs Thursdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader and UnionLeader.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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