KINGSTON, N.Y. >> The testing of machines that would be used to remove grout from a plugged sewer pipe on Washington Avenue have failed, a city official said.
Megan Weiss-Rowe, who is the city’s director of communications and community development, said via email that “we have been working with contractors to test different grout-removal options. We attempted a high-water-pressure test, which was not successful.” Weiss-Rowe said the use of a different tool with a cutting edge also did not work.
It was determined that the city needs a bigger cutting edge. “A larger tool will need to be acquired as the pipe diameter is larger than the original test and a secondary test will then be scheduled,” said Weiss-Rowe, who did not say when that test might occur or detail the particulars of obtaining such a tool.
In December, City Engineer Ralph Swenson said that grout removal from the Washington Avenue tunnel would not begin until a “simulated” test is conducted at a distant site.
Swenson had said testing of a hydraulic/water jet would take place before plans are drafted by a consultant for removal of the grout that is blocking the tunnel.
On Nov. 2, the Common Council voted 8-0 to borrow $150,000 to pay for design of a project to remove the grout that’s blocking the sanitary sewer system, as well as to fund ongoing rental fees for a pump system being used to bypass the clogged section of pipe. The design is expected to be drafted by the engineering firm Clark Patterson Lee.
Of the funding, $100,000 is for project design and to solicit bids from companies that could perform the repair project, which is expected to cost more than $1 million.
The remaining $50,000 would be used to pay for the bypass pumping system.
The grout blockage occurred during the project to repair the sinkhole that opened on Washington Avenue in April 2011. During the repair, grout somehow penetrated a new sewer lining, blocking a portion of the pipe.
Timothy Moot, a principal with Clark Patterson Lee, has told the Common Council’s Finance and Audit Committee that the repair project probably will cost between $1.1 million and $1.3 million.