UNION CITY — A 35-ton excavator spent a quiet night Tuesday parked along the eastern edge of north First Avenue near the railroad tracks.

No doubt resting up for the big job that is expected to get under way soon.

A $106,000 sanitary-sewer line replacement project on First Avenue, financed by state block-grant funds, is expected to begin in the next few days.

Matt Handley, supervisor for the Union City Municipal Authority, which is overseeing the project, said workers from Wilson Excavating and Grading Inc. of New Wilmington already have begun rolling heavy equipment to the work site — starting with the excavator, which arrived Tuesday afternoon.

“They should be bringing more equipment in today and starting work in the next couple of days,” Handley said. “But they might wait to start until after the Labor Day holiday.”

Once work begins, the job should take about a week and a half to complete, weather permitting, Handley said.

The project involves replacing two sections of aging 10-inch sanitary sewer line that run under First Avenue — from the South Street intersection, across West High Street, and to a manhole in front of 16 First Ave., on the unpaved section of street that leads to the American Legion ball fields.

The existing 10-inch pipe on the north and south ends of First Avenue will be replaced with a much larger 18-inch plastic pipe.

The terra-cotta pipe being replaced is the original sanitary sewer line that was installed in the 1930s, Handley said.

A 200-foot section of 18-inch pipe will be installed on the south end of First Avenue, starting at the South Street intersection.

The new line should help prevent sewer line backups along South Street, Handley said.

“It always bottlenecks at the turn from South Street onto First Avenue,” he said. “Anytime it rains, people have trouble.”

See the Journal's Wednesday, September 2nd edition for full story.

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