GALLIPOLIS — The upper portion of First Avenue in Gallipolis could be reopened in as little as 30 days once emergency slip repair work begins on the roadway.
The 800 block of First Avenue was closed on Sunday, June 17 after a large portion of the roadway slipped into the Ohio River during the early morning hours and has remained closed to traffic since that time.
Gallipolis City Manager Randy Finney previously reported that a large water leak that resulted in the loss of approximately 400,000 gallons of water was to blame for the slip and an engineer was immediately brought in to assess the damage.
Finney recently reported that plans for the repair of the roadway prepared by the engineer have been obtained by his office — prints that were then passed on to contractors who will provide estimates.
During a special meeting on June 19, the Gallipolis City Commission unanimously passed an emergency ordinance that authorized Finney to utilize up to $80,000 for the repair work and to enter into an agreement with the contractor with the lowest and best bid.
“I’d like to get the job done pretty quick by someone we know is reputable,” Finney said. “We passed it as an emergency last time; so, I’d like to get this thing done.”
According to Finney the engineer’s estimate for the repair work is $53,000.
Additionally, the city manager reported that, due to concerns and further sink holes that have developed in the roadway near the slip, the sewer line was recently inspected in the area.
“I did camera the sewer line because we had some concerns that the sewer line was causing the problem, but that sewer line was really in very good shape. We were actually surprised at how good a shape it was in,” Finney said. “So, nothing is coming come from the sewer, it’s just, we think over the years when they built the sewer line, there’s some [rip rap] in there that needed to be taken out — just some wood — that just kind of gave way down there.”
Finney also reported that an additional 12-foot by 85-foot section of First Avenue, above and beyond the slip repair work that would alleviate further slipping, would cost an additional $19,000.
The city, however, may not need to front all of the funding for the necessary repairs, according to Finney.
“I have talked to the Ohio Public Works Commission [OPWC] and they may have some emergency funds for us to do this work and pay for a significant portion of it,” he said.
The estimated time-line, by the engineer’s assumption, once work begins on the project is 30 days to completion.
“We need to get that moving and get that road back up so we can get the traffic flow back through there,” Finney said.
The city manager also recently reported on Cemetery Road and the temporary access road leading to Mound Hill Cemetery and Fortification Hill.
According to Finney, engineering work, including core drilling and surveying work, has begun on old Cemetery Road that was closed in April 2011 due to excessive slippage — engineering work that is expected to be completed within six weeks.
Also, Finney reported that an appeal for the denial of funding for the construction of the temporary access road has also been filed with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA).
Federal disaster funding was denied for that project as, due to the emergency nature of the construction, the city failed to seek permission for the roadway from the Ohio Historical Society prior to construction.
“On the temporary road, I did file an appeal with Ohio EMA. She has looked at it and she agrees with what we are saying; but, it’s straightforward, FEMA doesn’t do anything unless you get approved by the Ohio Historical Society,” Finney said.
Finney is reportedly still working with the Ohio EMA and is looking at other avenues to find other available funding to pay for the construction of the temporary access road.