Costs to increase for additional work on WB’s Solomon Creek project

By Jerry Lynott - [email protected]
This photo from last spring shows the temporary fix in place on a damaged section of the Solomon Creek wall in Wilkes-Barre. The city is now preparing for a more extensive reconstruction project. -

WILKES-BARRE — A new pump station along Brook Street and the additional work connected to it will increase the engineering costs for the Solomon Creek wall reconstruction project by $384,300.

Modifying the existing contract with Borton-Lawson Engineering for the wall by $139,300 and entering into a new one for $245,000 with the firm for the pump station are on the agenda for city council’s Tuesday night work session.

The contracts are separate, but related. And additional sections of the wall between Waller and Vulcan streets will be rebuilt due to the pump station, said Joyce Zaykowski, capital projects program manager for the city.

Funding is in place and not an issue, she pointed out Friday.

The city committed $4 million to the infrastructure project from a bond refinancing deal last year and since 2014 the state has awarded more than $4.6 million in grants.

“We pay for engineering all from the bond,” Zaykowski said. “The grants are 100 percent construction.”

Borton-Lawson, based in Plains Township, was hired in June at a cost of $266,500 for among other services, the design, engineering and preparation of construction drawings. The additional work deals with wall construction, street restoration and storm water drainage related to the pump station near Vulcan and Brook streets.

The new contract for the pump station includes design, engineering, permitting and bidding.

The project has been a priority for Mayor Tony George, who took office two years ago. The Depression-era wall that provides flood protection for South Wilkes-Barre residents and businesses has been deteriorating. A 40-foot section of it collapsed in December 2016 and was temporarily repaired, leading to a flurry of requests by the mayor and his administration for state and federal assistance.

The state stepped up in November with a $2.3 million grant. The wall qualified for the funds as a result of the severe damage caused in 2011 by Hurricane Lee and Tropical Storm Ivan.

When added to the other state grants and the city money, it pushed the available funding close to $8.7 million and past the halfway point of the estimated $15 million needed to do a comprehensive fix.

The project should be ready to bid in April with construction to follow in May.

This photo from last spring shows the temporary fix in place on a damaged section of the Solomon Creek wall in Wilkes-Barre. The city is now preparing for a more extensive reconstruction project.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL041417SolomonCreek3CMYK-1.jpgThis photo from last spring shows the temporary fix in place on a damaged section of the Solomon Creek wall in Wilkes-Barre. The city is now preparing for a more extensive reconstruction project.

By Jerry Lynott

[email protected]

Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.

Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.