Green Forest opts for 'pipe bursting' for sewer project

Monday, December 6, 2004

GREEN FOREST ---- Work on a Sixth Street sewer project in Green Forest will be accomplished using a pipe bursting system rather than the traditional "open cut" method, city leaders decided Monday.

After discussing options in special session nearly an hour, the council voted to accept a bid from Heller Company of Hot Springs for the work.

According to Mayor Richard Deweese, the council previously considered a bid from Greer Excavation for replacement of 1,200 feet of sewer line along Sixth Street, between Phillips and Thorne avenues.

Deweese said Greer's bid, at $44,200, called for an open cut, meaning the road would be torn up for months.

He said the pipe bursting system, bid at $49,560, is a trenchless process that makes it possible to replace and enlarge the sewer line without excavating the existing line.

Pipe bursting, he explained, involves pulling a polyethylene pipe through an old pipeline of equal or smaller size. The previous pipeline is shattered as the new pipline is pulled through, with the broken up pieces pushed out into the soil.

"It's really a neat process," Deweese said. "The whole turnkey operation will take two weeks, as opposed to 3-4 months for the open trench method. It will only be a short period that we'll have to shut down the road."

The only digging involved, besides machinery entry and exit trenches, will be to connect service lines.

Deweese said a camera, that is sent down the line ahead of time, takes all the guess work out of what lies beneath. "We'll only dig where the service lines hook in," he said, "and the camera will tell us where those are."

He did note there will be digging at one other location where a manhole lays in the way.

"It can't burst through solid concrete," said Deweese, "and we have a manhole on Springfield Street.

"We're using this project as a litmus test," he continued. "Springdale highly recommends it. I want to see how the process works and see if we'll be as impressed with the results as we were with the proposal."

Deweese says the end result should be a sewer line that requires no maintenance for at least 100 years.

"I'm looking at the entire sewer system," he said. "I'd like to see all the lines rehabed this way."

Deweese also mentioned that there was the possibility of purchasing a pipe bursting system and hiring a temporary crew to redo all old sewer lines during the next few years, saying it would save the city money.

Funding for this project and other water and sewer improvements will come from a bond refinancing package that former mayor Leonard Tidyman spearheaded.

Deweese said the Sixth Street sewer line has been the source of continuing problems for some time.

As such, council members enacted an emergency clause that allowed them to accept the Heller bid without having to advertise the job, Deweese said, noting that they did consider two bids, one from Greer and the other from Heller.

"We wanted to expedite it to well-serve the community," Deweese explained, adding that work should be underway in the next several weeks.

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