Help! It’s quicksand!

By on May 8, 2009

Pipe-laying halted at Harter Road site
by Lynn Meredith
It was all going so well at the Harter Road construction site, until workers encountered quicksand at 1,000 feet when trying to lay the sanitary sewer line.

Sand permeated by water has made it impossible to continue until a process called “dewatering” is accomplished.

“The site has been so kind to us up to this point,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Tom Runty said. “All the rain hasn’t helped.”

Dewatering consists of placing well points at intervals on either side of the trench. Ground water is pumped out of the area, lowering the water table between well points. Then the pipe can be laid and back-filled with gravel. Once the pipes are in place, the water doesn’t affect them anymore.

The same process was done on Foxmoor Drive while McDole Elementary was being built.

The situation is considered an emergency because it is crucial to being able to get other parts of the construction done on time. The total cost for the month-long process is $283,002.