Replacement of a water main on Quentin Road between the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail and Colebrook Road, a project that has sometimes snarled north and southbound traffic, should be completed by Labor Day.

“Work on this section should be finished in two to three weeks,” said Bob Sentz, director of planning and engineering for the City of Lebanon Authority, at the authority’s board meeting Monday.

The project’s initial timeline was completion by early summer, but more rock was encountered during excavation than anticipated, Sentz said after the meeting.

“On a good workday, if you are digging and not encountering anything, you can put in 100 feet of pipe,” Sentz said. “Rock formations can slow work down to 20-30 feet a day.”

This is one of three replacements of cast iron watermains that the authority undertook this year. Those projects included two sections on Quentin Road; 16th Street from Cumberland to Lehman, and Lincoln Avenue from Cumberland to Maple.

About 100 miles of the authority’s water mains are cast-iron pipes, Jon Beers, authority executive director, said previously. Annually, the authority contracts to replace about 3 miles of those pipes at a cost of between $2 million and $3 million per mile, Beers added.

Cast-iron water mains date from the 1940s or possibly earlier. A brittle pipe, they are prone to cracking and breaking. The authority is now using a ductile pipe that should last longer, Sentz said.

The most recent cost estimate for the Quentin Road project, which included a northern section from Lehman Street to Maple Street as well as the southern section to Colebrook Road, is slightly more than $2 million, Sentz said. 

The total project measures .71 mile but doesn’t include additional pipe installation to connect to side streets, he added. 

The City of Lebanon Authority board meets at 2311 Ridgeview Road, Lebanon, on the second Monday of each month at 3 p.m. The next meeting will be held Sept. 11. Meetings are open to the public and do not require registration.

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