GALLIPOLIS — A large slip in the 800 block of First Avenue in Gallipolis was a topic of concern during a special meeting of the Gallipolis City Commission held on Tuesday morning.
Gallipolis City Manager Randy Finney reported on the large slip that occurred Sunday morning and has essentially stopped traffic on the upper portion of First Avenue.
According to Finney, the slip occurred during the early morning hours on Sunday and, at approximately 4:30 or 5 a.m., a vehicle traveling on the roadway narrowly missed the hole and struck a fire hydrant nearby.
“Sometime around 4:30 or 5 [a.m.] the hole broke open. There was a vehicle that was traveling down the road — it did hit the corner section of [the slip]. They did see the hole at the last minute, swerved and bottomed out on the road. The car veered off and hit the fire hydrant there,” Finney said. “There were no serious injuries — just some cuts and scrapes. Luckily they didn’t run into the hole.”
Finney further reported that the the slip can be directly attributed to a large water leak that resulted in the loss of approximately 400,000 gallons of water.
“The water level at the water plant began going down starting at about 10 o’clock on Saturday night; so, it might have broke through around that time,” Finney said while reporting that a larger difference in water level at the plant could be seen at 3 a.m., at which time they believe the roadway began to slip.
The water leak was repaired by city maintenance workers by approximately 2 p.m. on Sunday and an engineer was called in to access the slip on Monday, according to Finney.
Finney further reported that he was unsure of an estimated cost to repair the project and further asked the commission to grant him the authority to enter into an agreement with the lowest and best bidder that can perform the necessary repair work to the 800 block of First Avenue.
The commission later unanimously passed an emergency ordinance to that effect, granting Finney the authority to utilize up to $80,000 for the repair.
“I’m not sure about an estimated time it’s going to take to do this or what contractor we’re going to get to do this, but it looks like it is going to require quite a bit of effort,” Finney said. “We’ve got to get this done pretty quickly because we’ve got First Avenue pretty much shut down right now.”
Finney further reported that he has been in contact with State Representative Ryan Smith in an effort to secure grant funding for the emergency repair.
“He is working with government agencies trying to find us some funding for this and I have got a couple of leads on that, so we are trying to get some funding,” Finney said. “We don’t know whether it’s going to pan out or not — we’re not getting our hopes up — but hopefully we will get some funding to help pay for the cost of what it is going to take to do this.”
The commission also passed an emergency ordinance allowing the city manager to contract with E.L. Robinson Engineering for engineering services relating to the repair of the Mound Hill original road slip repair project.
According to Finney, the estimate for engineering services for the project came in at $78,500.
The original roadway leading to Mound Hill was closed to the public in April 2011 due to excessive spring rain and secondary access road was later constructed as an emergency measure to allow access to Mound Hill Cemetery and Fortification Hill.
Finney reported that a total of $6,000 of the estimated $78,500 will be utilized for borings on the original roadway, $16,000 of that will be used for geotechnical work, $41,000 for actual design services and a total of $15,500 of the estimate will be used by the engineering firm for on-site construction oversight during the construction phase of the project.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has agreed to pay for the repairs to the original roadway at a cost of approximately $557,000.
According to Finney, the estimate for the engineering costs relating to the project is $5,000 over FEMA’s estimate and he must receive approval from FEMA prior to moving forward with this phase of the repair.
Finney reported that he expects to receive word from FEMA this week concerning the project.