Weirton water line upgrade project nearing completion

WEIRTON — A major water line improvement project is continuing in Weirton, with officials anticipating a completion in the coming months.

During Thursday’s Weirton Area Water Board meeting, representatives of Thrasher Engineering reported the 18-inch slip line project has been staying on schedule, with the new line running from the city’s water treatment plant, along Birch Drive and Freedom Way and onto Main Street.

The project, originally budgeted at $6.9 million, is being performed by James White Construction and Alex Paris Contracting.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 feet of water line is left to be installed.

The board was presented, on Thursday, with a change order request, for $5,382.65, resulting from the need to replace some current valves and other equipment located in the current system.

It was approved by a vote of 3-0, with board member Don Gianni Jr. recusing himself.

Assistant Director Sam Stoneking provided an update on the water line project along Marland Heights Road, saying it should be completed in the coming days.

City Manager Travis Blosser said paving of the road will begin in approximately two weeks, adding the city hasn’t received any complaints from residents about the project.

The board also was updated on plans for an upgrade of its meter system, which is geared toward transitioning to a radio-read system.

Currently, the project is stalled because of a lawsuit concerning a 5 percent bid preference on the meter installation.

Board counsel Dan Guida explained hearings have been held before 1st Judicial Circuit Court Judge David Sims, with discussions continuing.

“The parties agreed to extend the bid dates until the end of September,” Guida said.

The board agreed to make available up to $7,500 to cover any additional legal costs, by a vote of 2-0, with Gianni and board member Rocky Bragg recusing themselves.

Jonathan Carpenter, of the Thrasher Group, reported the contract for the meter purchase has been extended until the end of the year.

Board Chair Jim Shockley expressed concern over the durability of the meters, and their life-span, given the delay in the installation.

“These things are changing so quickly,” he said, referencing improvements in technology.

Carpenter, though, said meter systems today have a substantially longer lifespan than previous systems.

In other business, the board agreed to send Stoneking as a voting delegate to the upcoming West Virginia Rural Water Association convention in Charleston. Chief Operator T.J. Warner and Bragg will serve as alternates.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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