What to expect with a waterline

OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino. Clark Patterson Lee Engineer Eric Wies (left) shows town of Dunkirk property owners plans for their properties during construction of the Route 5 regional waterline project in order to garner easements to their properties.

Residents along Route 5 can expect a mess in their front yards, but also better fire protection and water flow as a result of the regional waterline being installed this summer.

The North County Water District expects to bid out the project this spring and complete construction in 2018. In a meeting for residents Tuesday at the Jamestown Community College North County Center, Clark Patterson Lee Engineers Eric Wies and Seth Krull explained what they can expect.

While the meeting was not a public hearing, Wies said his presentation was meant to give residents information so that they could be informed and eventually sign easements to allow work and maintenance to occur on their property.

“Anybody that’s here and did get a letter, we would like to talk to you one on one, show you what it will look like on your property and provide you with the proper documents. Whether or not you feel comfortable to sign the documents tonight or you’re uncomfortable and it’s something you bring back to your attorney, talk it over with your spouse at home, think about it, we’ll give you our business cards. Call us up, talk it over. We also have several staff members in the office that are notaries as well and we could send them out to talk it over, have a cup of coffee, see how can we make this have the least impact on you as possible,” he said.

The project will include a 16-inch waterline connecting the city of Dunkirk’s water supply to Route 5 via Willow Road and heading west to the town of Portland. Additionally, the project includes a tank and pump station in Brocton.

Residents received letters for the meeting because their properties will be impacted when the new line is installed on the south side of the roadway.

Wies said many easements are necessary due to the narrowness of the road, with the New York state Department of Transportation right of way extending only about 10 feet from the shoulder.

Resident Charles Sam of A. Sam & Son Farms questioned the reason for the waterline to be placed on the south side of the road when the current placement on the north side of the road would disturb far fewer properties.

Wies said this was a design decision to create the least impact since the current line is in such poor shape and remaining on the north side would require many service lines to be pushed under the road.

Wies added residents and motorists can expect daily shoulder or single-lane closures during construction. Excavators will dig trenches for the line and back fill once it is in. He said they expect to do about 500 feet per day. The lines will go under driveways and through landscaping, which will be restored.

Once the line is in and the water is tested, there will be a brief service interruption when a resident’s service line is connected to the new line. He said if a resident knows their service line is in bad shape, this may be a good time to replace it.

He emphasized that the inspector on the project would make sure the project is done to specifications and be the liaison with residents and municipalities. Most issues of restoration of landscape, moving service lines, coordinating driveway excavation, etc., will be handled by the inspector on an individual basis.

“There will be an on-site inspector that will be knocking at your door, talking with you about what is going to happen, coordinating with you,” Wies said.

At the end of the meeting, Wies and Krull went over engineering plans with each property owner. Any residents who received a letter but were not able to attend may call Krull at 880-1256 or 479-6647 with questions.