RUMFORD — Public Works crews have a busy schedule lined up for this season that includes redoing concrete sidewalks along Congress Street.

Superintendent Andy Russell gave selectmen an update Thursday night, telling them that they’ll finish work started last year on Royal Avenue and Pennacook Road.

Spring cleanup will run from Monday, April 28 to Saturday, May 10. Russell said residents can put out material to be picked up by Public Works between now or by April 21. He wants the items separated.

Once crews finish that work, Russell said they will start sweeping.

For permanent roads, they want to work on Linnell Street and Prospect and Forest avenues. He said that section was never rebuilt.The upper end above Forest Avenue was done about 30 years ago and the lower end about 20 years ago.

He said that section still has the old, clay-tile sewer main on it, which brought up another concern raised last year: Russell said people continue to flush Handi-Wipes and baby wipes and other non-disposable products into the sewer system in the area and they don’t break down.


“They get hung up in our old pipes in such bulk that they cause backups,” Russell said. “Of course, the advertisers put that they’re flushable and people do that, but they’re not.”

He said the old sewer main system is between 200 to 250 feet long. Town Manager John Madigan said the clay-tile pipes were installed in 2-foot sections, which is catching the non-disposable wipes.

Russell said he’d like to do a project on Hancock Street by Mountain Valley High School this year, from Tasker Avenue where they left off their previous work down to where Scotty’s Farm is located.

“There’s a couple of really rough sections in there,” he said.

On the long-range plan to do this year is Riverside Drive at Smith Crossing below the railroad tracks. He said they want to also redo the sanitary sewer there, along with catch basins. They’d also like to do Smithville Road in the Smith Crossing neighborhood, but Russell said he wasn’t sure if they’ll be able to get to it.

“Another project we need to do this year is the pump station down on Route 108,” Russell said. “It had a malfunction from an electrical surge or something and it damaged the station. It’s been down for a year and we got word from the insurance company that we’re going to get reimbursed for it.”


When that money comes in, the crew will devote a few weeks to that project.

Russell then said he’d like to reline the sewer line in East Rumford that goes from Sunnyside Terrace to Royal Avenue.

“I think it’s critical that we reline that if possible,” he said. “It’s needed.”

He said they received a bid last year of just under $170,000 to reline 5,000 feet of pipe. To put that into perspective, he said that last year when they had the problem with the Prospect Avenue sewer line, they spent close to $340,000 on 100 feet of pipe, because it was in an aquifer and jeopardized the safety of crews, requiring additional safety measures.

Russell said East Rumford’s nearly mile-long sewer line consists of asbestos cement pipe. He said that if they reline the pipe with cure-in-place fiberglass resin it wouldn’t have any joints at all except at manholes.

Selectman Brad Adley asked Russell’s opinion on redoing Prospect Avenue, saying it was in rough shape. Russell said that project is in the long-range plan to do some work there within the next five years. Work would start in 2015 or 2016.


He said they’re looking at relining sewer pipes from Sunnyside Terrace back to Front Street, and then from Sunnyside up to Route 2.

“This would take care of the sewer line and we wouldn’t have to dig it up,” Russell said. “It should last 50 years or so.”

He said the sewer line is so old in the area that it could fail at any time.

Funding for the project would come out of the Sewer Extension funds, so sewer system customers wouldn’t have to foot the bill, he said. Adley asked that the relining matter be placed on the board’s next agenda to discuss.

In other business, the board learned from Madigan that they will have to contact the Maine Department of Environmental Protection before demolishing multi-family buildings that were tax-acquired.

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