Pipe bursting project on South West Fourth Street

Construction workers from IMCO General Construction work on an ongoing pipe bursting project on South West Fourth Street.

ONTARIO — On South West Fourth Street IMCO General Construction is conducting an ongoing pipe bursting project.

On Aug. 25 the city of Ontario Public Works Department issued the contractor the capital improvement program project under a Right-of-Way Permit No. 2496.

The permit is good until Nov. 30 and the location of the project of work will move to various locations along Southwest Fourth Street.

According to city of Ontario Engineer Paul Woods, the project is being conducted in part due to address DEQ concerns over arsenic concentrations in the city’s wastewater discharge. The project will replace sewer lines where shallow groundwater with elevated levels of arsenic are infiltrating into the sewer lines.

Wood’s said the arsenic discharge went over the state of Oregon rules of two parts per billion.

The project is being funded through a competitor grant award through Business Oregon. The source of funding is federal Community Development Block Grant funds.

The total amount for the project is 2.7 million, which the aforementioned grant covers 2.5 million, while the city of Ontario will be paying the balance of 200,000.

Woods told the Argus that an environmental review was completed and the relevant agencies determined the project was “categorically exempt” from further environmental review.

One requirement is to have a historical cultural resource monitor during ground-disturbing activities, to which, Woods said that the city has contracted to conduct these duties.

Woods said that there are no environmental permits that apply to pipe bursting and that the city of Ontario has no environmental concerns regarding the project.

According to the EPA, pipe bursting is a method by which the existing pipe is opened and forced outward by a bursting tool. A hydraulic or pneumatic expansion head (part of the bursting tool) is pulled through the existing pipeline, typically by using a cable and winch. As the expansion head is pulled through the existing pipe, it pushes that pipe radially outward until it breaks apart, creating a space for the new pipe. The bursting device also pulls the new pipeline behind it, immediately filling the void created by the old, burst pipe with the new pipe.

Wood’s said that due to weather concerns, the city will be providing an extension to the Right-of-Way Permit No. 2496 to the contractor and expect the project to be completed by the end of December.

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