May 09, 2023

Emergency sewer work to begin soon on Court Street in Dover, NH

DOVER — Emergency work on a stretch of collapsed sewer line along Court Street is set to commence soon, and city leaders are warning it will affect nearby homeowners and cause traffic delays.

As it prepares to take on a larger Court Street reconstruction in about a year, city officials have found that a portion of the street's sewer is in need of urgent repair. Sections of collapse were found in the roadway's existing gravity sewer, prompting action from Dover officials.

The City Council on May 24 allocated funding for a contractor to begin replacing the sewer in a few weeks time.

"The City had planned on completing the emergency repair with its own crews and equipment, and as such, had pre-purchased all pipe, fittings, concrete structures, frames & grates," a description of the project reads. "But the scope of work was deemed too substantial, and would significantly impact the utilities crew from keeping up with other required maintenance items, so (a request for proposals) was issued for the actual installation of the new sewer line."

The damaged portion of the existing Court Street sewer line, according to city engineer Ken Mavrogeorge, is a 24-inch main that's between 20 to 30 feet deep in parts along the roadway. The solution is to have Weymouth, Massachusetts, contractor D&C Construction Company install a new 1,200-foot-long, eight-inch gravity sewer line above the existing line, which is encased in concrete.

The new sewer line will be installed roughly eight to 10 feet deep, he added. Work could last for roughly one month.

"This is really an isolated area that during the inspection we determined it was past service life and in need of replacement," he said.

Houses affected by the sewer collapse have since had their sewage rerouted north down Court Street toward the River Street pump station. After the emergency work, sewage from those homes will be redirected toward Middle Road.

The city will have to physically connect the impacted residences to the new sewer line, Mavrogeorge told the City Council.

"It's not the most conventional way of doing things but it's the way we have to do it to make sure we go in and minimize disruption," he said.

City Manager Michael Joyal Jr. noted that as the sewer line is installed, residents will be notified if crews are working near their homes and access to their driveways could be limited.

"With any construction project and with this in particular… there's going to be some work in the roadway and adjacent to the roadway," Joyal said. "There will be inconvenience. There will be traffic delays. There will be some issues that residents and anyone traveling through the area are going to have to address."

The City Council unanimously approved awarding the $202,100 contract to D&C Construction Company on Wednesday. The contractor worked previously for the city on the Spur Road reconstruction project.

The larger Court Street reconstruction project, according to the city, will entail upgrading underground utilities, as well as addressing drainage concerns and roadway and sidewalk conditions.

"The overall reconstruction project has minimal sewer reconstruction because the majority of the lines seem to be in good shape," Mavrogoerge said.

The city expects to have design for the larger project completed early this summer, with a request for proposals released in late summer and construction beginning possibly next spring, he continued.