Broadway project could get bigger

SARANAC LAKE – A major downtown construction project planned for this spring could get even bigger.

The village’s engineering firm is recommending replacement of a sewer line that runs from near the intersection of Bloomingdale Avenue and Broadway down to the Thompson Building, at the corner of Broadway and Dorsey Street. The work, if it happens, would be done at the same time as the replacement of a water main and other sewer infrastructure, storm drainage, curbs and sidewalks, and reconstruction of the road, along the same section of Broadway. That project is scheduled to begin April 1 and last roughly 10 weeks.

While no final decision has been made about the additional sewer work, village Manager John Sweeney said Monday that it makes sense to do it now.

“If you look at the (engineer’s) report, the thing needs to be replaced,” he said. “As much as we’re going to disturb everybody, we’re going to disturb them just that little bit more to get everything done and not have to worry about the sewer line failing.”

The report, from Plattsburgh-based AES Northeast, is based on a recording from a sewer inspection camera that was run down the 8-inch, primarily clay tile sewer main in late January. The inspection found sections of the pipe that have sagged and cracked, plus evidence of surcharge and problems with grease throughout the main.

“The condition of the sewer main is such that its need for replacement is inevitable,” the report reads.

“We knew it was bad,” Sweeney said. “We didn’t know it was this bad.”

The grease problems in the sewer line led village Trustee Allie Pelletieri to ask at Monday night’s village board meeting if the village is enforcing grease trap requirements in local restaurants.

“What can we do to prevent this?” he asked. “Do we mandate grease traps for every restaurant, or are some grandfathered in?”

“I think grease traps are mandated for any new construction,” Sweeney said. “I don’t know about the grandfather portion of it. They are to be inspected yearly, but I’ll have to follow up on that.”

“Let’s do a real diligent follow-up,” added Mayor Clyde Rabideau, “because having a grease trap for a restaurant has been around for decades.”

The village awarded a pair of contracts Monday night for other aspects of the Broadway project. Plattsburgh-based Luck Brothers was the low bidder for the replacement of curbs and sidewalks, at $53,372.

Glens Falls-based Trinity Construction won a $209,000 contract for replacement of a sewer line that runs across Broadway from Dorsey Street to the Community Bank parking lot.

“Currently right now it goes under the JC Penney building,” said village Sewer Plant Operator Kevin Pratt. “We’re going to realign it so it goes around the building.”

Sweeney said the multi-phase Broadway project is scheduled to begin around April 1. Once the new water, stormwater and sewer infrastructure is in the ground, he said the new curbs and sidewalks would be installed by mid May, and the road would be paved sometime in early June.