Village manager: Duprey Street sewer failure ‘imminent’

SARANAC LAKE – The village is rushing to replace a sewer line that could collapse any time – one more project in a long list of infrastructure upgrades taking place across the community this spring.

Village Manager John Sweeney said Monday that failure of a 460-foot section of sewer main on Duprey Street is “imminent.” He asked the village board to issue an emergency declaration that would expedite the process of getting the line replaced.

The problem was discovered last week when a Duprey Street resident’s lateral sewer line collapsed, Sweeney said.

Village crews then used a $70,000 video camera the village purchased last year to inspect the section of sewer main under the road from Lake Flower Avenue to Swiss Marine. Sections of the 10-inch sewer are “very near total collapse,” and sand from the road can be seen dripping into the main, Sweeney said.

“There’s significant cracks and bellies where the water is backing up, and that’s really what’s triggered this,” he said. “In the last three years, this 460 feet was checked with video. It was never great, but it was nowhere near this.”

Sweeney said the emergency declaration will let the village quickly bring in an engineering firm and hire contractors. He said the village plans to approach a group of contractors working in the area now, including those involved with an ongoing infrastructure replacement project on Broadway, to see if they can do the work.

“The declaration allows (us) to go directly to contractors saying, ‘We need this thing fixed now.’ We don’t have to (bid it). If the prices come in way outside of what we’re anticipating, then we’ll probably go to a bid process.”

The cost of the project could range be between $110,000 and $200,000. The funds will be taken from reserve accounts, Sweeney said.

Sweeney said the village may have to lower the level of Lake Flower to prevent water from seeping into the area where crews would be digging. He said the main is very deep, in some spots 12 to 13 feet below ground level. The work will require approval from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Sweeney said.

The village Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to approve the emergency declaration.

While the village is waiting to line up a contractor, Sweeney said crews will secure the area and move equipment in place so they can do a bypass if the line should fail.

Once the work is under way, the road will likely be closed to all traffic. Residents of Duprey Street will have to use Edward Street and Tara Drive to get to their homes.

Other projects

Sweeney said 70 percent of the infrastructure has been installed on the Broadway project has been installed. A new sewer main has been put in between Dorsey Street and the parking lot behind Community bank. Crews are now working to install lateral lines and will be extending stormwater and sewer infrastructure down the road. Curbing and sidewalk work will follow in late May or early June.

“We appear to be on target for completion in mid to late June,” Sweeney said.

Village and state Department of Transportation crews have also been working on upgrades on Lake Flower Avenue. The project involves installation of new stormwater infrastructure and replacement of sidewalks and curbing.

Another sewer main project is set to go out to bid soon, Sweeney said. It involves replacement of the main that runs from the end of Lake Street, down LaPan Highway to Dorsey Street.