City Manager Dave Greene indicated to members of city council earlier this week that he recently met with Dean Ball, project manager for PennDOT, regarding the reconstruction project planned for SR 255.
When asked if PennDOT plans to start work this year, Greene responded that by the end of May they would probably begin talking to property owners about acquiring the properties they need in order to make the improvements to South St. Marys Street.
"The reason Dean came in to see me is that originally PennDOT and the federal government had indicated to the city that they would pay 50 percent of the cost of replacing the sanitary sewer line on South St. Marys Street. Since our first or second or third meeting, they've come back now with a letter of correspondence indicating to us that they will no longer do that," Greene said.
The city had been anticipating receiving reimbursement for 50 percent of the costs for the project, but now would have to come up with all of the money if they choose to continue to move forward with moving the sanitary sewer line.
"A concern that we have is the sanitary sewer line runs down the center line of the street, South St. Marys Street. With the added construction that's going to be taking place there in 2012-13, we're concerned about them crushing our pipe that's under the ground. That's why we wanted to move it out of that area while we were doing the construction," Greene said.
If the sewer line is not moved, Greene remarked that PennDOT indicated they would be cognizant of its location while they worked on the roadway.
"They said they'll take extra caution and be careful in compacting the soil around our sanitary sewer line to try not to crush it or collapse it. If that would happen, then they would have to dig up the new road to replace it," Greene said.
Greene noted that the city is still currently working with PennDOT to try to figure out a solution to the funding issue.