Solomon Creek wall project to be delayed by more than a month

By Jerry Lynott - [email protected]
The Solomon Creek wall in Wilkes-Barre is shown after some temporary repairs were made in the spring of 2017. - Times Leader file photo

WILKES-BARRE — Switching contractors will delay the first phase of the Solomon Creek wall reconstruction project by more than a month, according to an updated schedule the consulting engineer provided city council Tuesday.

Work on the new retaining wall along Brook Street from Waller to South Franklin streets is expected to begin in mid to late September, said Louis Spaciano, of Plains Township-based Borton-Lawson engineering and architecture. It should be completed in the spring of 2019 and coincide with the start of the second phase of the wall and construction of a pumping station at Vulcan and Brook streets, he said.

Bids for the second phase will be solicited in late October and a contract awarded in November, Spaciano said. Rather than start so late in the year and work through the winter, construction should begin in the spring with a projected fall completion, Spaciano said.

The schedule for the first phase changed after the city terminated the contract of low bidder AR Popple Inc., of Wilkes-Barre, in July for undisclosed reasons. Tony Popple, a senior vice president of the company, said he was ready to start excavation for the $1,548,448 project Aug. 1 and begin installation of the base sections of the pre-fabricated concrete wall in September.

But the city now wants to go with Don E. Bower Inc., of Berwick, which submitted the second lowest bid of $2,017,954. Approval of a contract with Bower is on the agenda for council’s public meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Council also will be asked to approve:

• A new insurance package from Joyce Insurance Group, of Pittston, for a premium of $408,842. The expiring premium is $418,990.

• A winter service agreement with PennDOT that will pay the city $56,368 for the maintenance of 37.21 miles of state roads.

• The sale of city-owned property at 30 Hickory St. for $500 to Doroteo Martinez Pineda and Silviana Vergara Tlantenchi.

• The application for a 2018 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant for $19,733 to pay for recertification of firearms/Taser instructors, tactical and non-tactical training and saturation patrols for violent crime areas.

• Applications to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for Keystone Communities Program grants for the Scott Street and Carey Avenue streetscape projects.

• Ordinances for the placement of permanent stop signs at intersections, adoption of the 2009 International Property Maintenance Code and setting restrictions on the use of fireworks.

The Solomon Creek wall in Wilkes-Barre is shown after some temporary repairs were made in the spring of 2017.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL041417SolomonCreek3CMYK.jpgThe Solomon Creek wall in Wilkes-Barre is shown after some temporary repairs were made in the spring of 2017. Times Leader file photo

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.