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Water Authority Begins Work on Upgrades to Grandview-Area Hydrants

Construction to conclude by Feb. 6

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
November 17, 2019
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Tube City Almanac photo)

Crews have begun the long-awaited process of running a new water line to fire hydrants in the Grandview neighborhood of the city.

The work is being done by W. Construction Corp. of Jeannette under a contract from the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, said Matthew Junker, water authority spokesman.

Nearly a half-mile of 12-inch water main is being installed, he said. Work is expected to conclude in early February. McKeesport city council this month granted a right-of-way along Silver Alley to the water authority.

"We were happy we were able to come to an agreement with the city and we look forward to working with them," Junker said.

(Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County map)

Authority crews also are extending more than 3,300 feet of 12-inch water line and 340 feet of 8-inch water line, according to the MAWC website.

Total cost of the project is $843,200, including engineering work, Junker said.

The work is designed to address a lack of water volume --- not water pressure --- at fire hydrants in the Grandview neighborhood, city administrator Tom Maglicco told council.

In June 2018, four people were injured when fire swept through a home in the 2600 block of Cleveland Street. Neighbors said several houses in the same vicinity in recent years have burned and that a lack of water at nearby hydrants hampered efforts to put out those fires.

According to McKeesport fire department and Mayor Michael Cherepko, whenever fires are reported in the Grandview area, it has been standard procedure for several years for Allegheny County emergency dispatchers to request water tankers from neighboring communities.

Junker said the water authority found that some of the fire hydrants in the neighborhood were connected to 4-inch and 6-inch water lines, which couldn't provide enough volume.

The new water line will be connected to a 16-inch water main that is connected to a pump station near the former Centennial Elementary School, and which feeds storage tanks near Renziehausen Park, Junker said.

Residents will not notice any changes to their daily water service, he said, and no water shut-offs are planned.

"That line will just serve fire hydrants to start with," Junker said. "The primary mission here is to improve the (water) flow for fire service."

No other utility lines in the area should be impacted, he said, though residents may face temporary parking restrictions as the work progresses on Silver Alley and on Allison, Tulip, Woodland, Indiana and Wesley streets.

Weather-permitting, work is expected to be complete by Feb. 6. Eight fire hydrants will be affected, Junker said.

Jason Togyer is the editor of The Tube City Almanac and volunteer executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc. He may be reached at jtogyer@gmail.com.

Originally published November 17, 2019.

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