Thursday, October 10, 2013

Quick Summary of Utility Work in Bunker Hill Road Vicinity

Quick Summary of Utility Work in Bunker Hill Road Vicinity

On Thursday, October 15, 2013, Mayor Miles, Councilman Tarlau, and myself met with representatives of WSSC, Washington Gas, and their contractors. The following is a top line summary of the status of the utility work in the Bunker Hill Road area. Please contact me if there is anything more specific you would like to know.

The good news: Utilities are committed to finishing this work this year

So what does this mean?

Full restoration and paving of impacted roads requires hot asphalt. Most years the asphalt plant goes offline for the winter around the third week of November, give or take a week with good or bad weather. This means the utility crews have to be done with their work by mid-November in order for the roads to be fully restored before this winter.

Fortunately, per today's meeting, WSSC and Washington Gas believe that they can hit this deadline barring unforeseen circumstances. So far this project has had precious little luck, and we are going to need a little luck to hit the asphalt deadline. Mount Rainier is over a hundred years old and some of the utilities being upgraded are also nearly that age, so problems with the work are unfortunately somewhat inevitable.

That being said, I am confident that the crew leaders for the utilities are committed to meeting this deadline so that residents can be driving on a smooth new road this winter. In fact, Washington Gas has already allocated a second crew to this project.

What's next?

October 14-18 - WSSC completes testing of the new sewer lines in the 3000 block of Bunker Hill. If the lines test 100%, that block will definitely receive a base layer of asphalt by the end of the week. This testing and paving will close WSSC's involvement on this project. (If the lines don't test 100%, there is sill the possibility of WSSC closing out that week if the needed excavating / repairing is fairly minor.)

October 14-November 18 - Washington Gas upgrades its remaining mains to high pressure, and upgrades the service lines to individual homes, starting at 33rd and Bunker Hill and ending at 30th and Bunker Hill. The 3800 and 4000 blocks of 32nd Street will also see work on the level of Bunker Hill during this time frame - the main and the service line to each home on those blocks will be upgraded to high pressure. See attached map.

Mid-November asphalt paving deadline - If Washington Gas's work is going to plan on the 3100 and 3000 blocks of Bunker Hill, they will notify WSSC with sufficient lead time to ensure that the paving occurs before the asphalt plant shuts down for the winter.

Washington Gas scope of work: As of October 10, 2013, the green and yellow lines have been completed.
The lines in red will be completed October 14-November 18, 2013.

How does this impact homeowners?

If you live on a block that is going to be upgraded by Washington Gas over the next month, someone will need to be home TWICE during that time: once to run the service line to your house, and once to relight your service when your house is tied into the main. WG will be working directly with individual homeowners to schedule convenient times for this work to occur, and with a month total I think we can make this work for all residents. WG has also committed to coordinating with me to make sure that residents are adequately notified.

I plan to print out some materials and walk this around to as many of the affected blocks as I can reach over the next few days. I don't have emails or contact information for all residents so please let your neighbors know how to find this blog post or share it with them directly.

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

If the weather is mostly ok, and the utilities find no more major surprises when they dig, we could be driving, biking, and walking on a brand new Bunker Hill Road by Thanksgiving. That would truly be something to be thankful for!

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