Apr 02, 2020

Ohio Town Sees Sewer Project Delays

Coronavirus might cause delays in a massive underground sewer project in an Ohio town

storm water

Officials with the city of Akron, Ohio said the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic might result in additional delays for an underground sewer project.

This is mandated by a settlement it reached with the U.S. EPA.

According to a note written by City Public Service Director Chris Ludle,“the pandemic has caused unforeseeable shortages in the availability of materials, equipment, and labor.” 

This could delay or prevent the city from finishing the project on time as required by its agreement, reported Metro News.

U.S. District Judge John Adams signed the city’s consent decree in 2014, requiring a series of taxpayer-funded fixes to finish by 2028 to bring the city’s sewer system into compliance with the Clean Water Act. This would also stop old sewers from overflowing into the Cuyahoga River.

The cost of the fixes is estimated to be more than $1.2 billion, reported Metro News. The Ohio Canal Interception Tunnel is the most significant project outlined, designed to hold more than 25 million gallons of storm water and sewage during heavy rains. The city says it remains on schedule to finish by June 30, however.

Other projects mandated by the consent decree may also be delayed. Akron has put non-essential services on hold, furloughed workers and reduced hours for others.

“Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic is an event that is beyond the control of the City, its agents, consultant, contractors, or any entity controlled by the city,” stated the letter.

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