New pavers to be torn up, then replaced – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

New pavers to be torn up, then replaced

Written September 26th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

Markings on the pavement show the path of excavation at Water Avenue and Hill Street.

Rebuilt just a year ago and made to look distinctive, the intersection of Albany’s Water Avenue and Hill Street will have to be torn up shortly. But then it’s supposed to be restored, with those reddish pavers, to the way it looks now.

Markings on the pavement show where Pacific Excavation, the contractor building a sewer main and pump station, will have to dig the trench to bury the pipe.

The same thing will happen at the Water Avenue intersection with Jackson Street, also styled with pavers when it was rebuilt some years ago for the construction of the riverside Wheelhouse office building.

I asked City Engineer Staci Belcastro about this.

“Yes,” she replied in an email, “a portion of the raised intersections on Water Avenue at Hill Street and Jackson Street will need to be removed and replaced to facilitate construction of the sewer forcemain. Pacific Excavation will remove and then re-use the pavers. Trench construction is similar except the contractor will re-use the pavers to provide surface restoration through the raised intersections; outside the raised intersections the contractor will need to place new concrete and asphalt.”

The Hill Street intersection was rebuilt in 2018 by the developer of the Edgewater Village subdivision. Belcastro explained that at the time, design of the new sewer line had not yet been done.

“Staff evaluated the feasibility of burying a steel casing underneath Hill Street to avoid having to trench through the intersection when the sewer forcemain was constructed,” she wrote. “However, the decision was made to not install the steel casing because design of the vertical alignment was not known at the time.  Installing a fixed point would restrict the vertical alignment of the sewer line.  Design of the vertical alignment for the forcemain is critical to avoid installation of additional air-vacuum release valves, which are expensive to install and maintain, and is also important to facilitate draining the line when it’s not in service.”

Engineers call it a “forcemain” because the material in it is pumped to the treatment plant rather than flowing because of gravity. It’s being built at a contract cost of $7.2 million to relieve the city’s Riverfront Interceptor during heavy rainstorms and thus prevent sewer overflows to the Willamette River.

The pump station is being built just west of the Wheelhouse parking lot, on what used to be a section of the Dave Clark Path. When the station is done, the path will be reconnected around it. (hh)

The contractor will put the pavers back when resurfacing the intersection once the sewer pipe is installed.

On Sept. 20, the construction site of the new pump station looked like this.


Posted in: Commentary, News

11 responses to “New pavers to be torn up, then replaced”

  1. J. Jacobson says:

    Think of it more along the lines of a full employment effort, with continuous paving-unpaving-repaving. Similar to the painting of the Golden Gate bridge. Neither project can ever truly be considered done.

  2. Todd says:

    Our city leaders are so incompetent that it’s appalling. Small wonder they have a budget shortfall.

  3. Jason says:

    “Fail to plan, plan to fail”

  4. Bob Ramsey says:

    This all sounds like “GOVERNMENT” fixing things… TAKE A DUMP, T-H-E-N wipe your butt!!!!good planning job people….wouldn’t expect it any other way…..just spend and waste tax payers money cause we can get MORE …WHAT A JOKE!!!

  5. Mac says:

    Speaking from experience, Pacific excavation is good at excavation, but not good at paving. They do a poor job of compacting before replacing. They should have to get whoever did the work in the first place to put it back. Otherwise it will not be nice for long.

  6. Ray Kopczynski says:

    You really have to love the clueless coming out of the woodwork & venting. (I’ll hazard a guess none of whom have ever had a face-to-face meeting with their city councilor. I absolutely never saw any of them at very regularly scheduled meetings.) But hey! It’s more fun to post to blog…

    • thomas cordier says:

      Even if 100 people attended the Council meetings this type of rework would not have been prevented. Your continue to show a logic deficit

    • J. Jacobson says:

      You’re spot on, sir. At a City Council session, an average citizen is granted precious moments to offer anything. The citizen’s words are barely heard as the Council overlords, posturing on the dais, nervously check their computer screens, watching themselves on the Channel 23/28. They’re always ready for their close-up.

      On the Herring Underground, an average citizen actually has something of a platform. Herring’s audience may not be the biggest, but even if his daily digest only reaches 10 readers, then that’s 3-more listeners than you’ll reach at City Hall.

    • Al Nyman says:

      I believe Ray can bloviate with the best of them. What does talking to a city councilman have to do with paving roads and then a short time later tearing them up for a sewer line or whatever and having to fix the road again.

  7. Ean says:

    Question for the arm chair engineers. What was the city supposed to do? Bury a steel sleeve at a guessed elevation and hope to get lucky? Delay the project while design was done, you’d all be going crazy. Bonding the improvements would take agreement from the developer. None of the options were real great, sometimes that happens in the real world.


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