Solomon Creek Flood Project Work Back On Track
WILKES-BARRE — Work on the first phase of the Solomon Creek Flood Protection Project is back on track and the city is preparing for the second phase of work.
Invitations to bid on two parts of the second phase — construction of a pump station near Vulcan and Brook streets and replacement of additional sections of retaining wall — were published Wednesday.
Joyce Zaykowski, director of the city Office of Economic and Community Development, said the city must seek separate bids because two different funding sources are being used for wall replacement versus pump station construction.
In the beginning of December, Zaykowski predicted bids would be sought in February, given that wall replacement work at the time was ahead of schedule. But work on the wall stopped March 8 and resumed just last week.
Because a city employee misinterpreted federal requirements to advertise for public comment on environmental aspects of the project, the state Department of Community and Economic Development ordered a work stoppage until the city satisfied those requirements.
George said in April the first phase of wall replacement would be complete by the end of the summer.
Employees with Don E. Bower Inc. were working on the wall near the Barney Street Bridge on Thursday.
Work on wall replacement began this past fall between Franklin and Regent streets and has been proceeding westward along Brook Street toward Waller Street.
Mark Barry, grant coordinator for the city, said city officials expect there will be a seamless transition between the first and second phases of wall replacement. The second phase entails replacement of retaining wall between Waller and Vulcan streets.
Work could extend beyond Vulcan Street depending on how much funding remains after bids are received.
The city secured $4.6 million in state funding and borrowed another $4 million for the project. Bower had bid just over $2 million to complete the first phase of the project.
Plans to repair the wall, which protects about 700 homes in South Wilkes-Barre, were in the works for several years, but they were pushed up after a 40-foot section of wall on the south side of the creek between Waller and Barney streets collapsed Dec. 9, 2016. Temporary repairs have been in place since then.
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