Project falls behind; students lose
September 23, 2005
For many Hathorn residents, this year has proven difficult for parking. Instead of using 40 designated slots in the lower level of N–Lot like previous years, they have had to lease parking space from the city, located across the street from Holiday Gas station on Main Street.
Some students may wonder why they weren’t notified about this through the mail. Thomas Weiss, director of procurement services, said the problems arose a mere ten days before school started, and the administration didn’t have enough time to send the word out.
Last June, a construction team run by Michels-Directional, based out of Brownsville, Wis. began a project that is situated behind Hathorn Hall. The purpose was to drill underground so a new sewer drain could be inserted and finished before the start of the school year, but problems arose thereby pushing the team behind schedule.
Using a 30–inch drill bit with a computer operated drill, workers were able to make three passes clearing away a collection of water, silt, and earth. Tubing was supposed to insert through the hole beginning Aug. 12.
However on Aug. 20 while finishing the third pass the drill bit got stuck, and after some struggling the two adjoining rods broke off. Since then, efforts have been made to remove the equipment underground so the rest of the tunnel could be cleared away and piping put in.
Located 60 feet underground, this new sewer pipe will stretch for 4,000 feet (about three-quarters of a mile) along the Kinnickinnic River. The new line will replace an existing sewer line that could potentially pose an environmental hazard.
Sections of the pipeline built parallel along the Kinnickinnic River, in recent years have been exposed from weathering, making the possibility of it freezing, cracking and spilling out all the more real. Only recently did the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources order the construction of this project before such a scenario could occur.
Unlike the iron–based piping that was installed in the 1960s, the new pipe is composed of an extremely dense polyethylene material, “which should last for a 100 years, if not more,” Campus Coordinator Planner Dale Braun said.
The $4.5 million project will not only serve the student population on campus.
“It was going really well,” Braun explained, but then bad luck intervened.
But Braun is still positive.
“They’ve been excellent to work on this,” Braun says. “They are very willing to work with us, and trying to get back on track.”
Parking in N-Lot is scheduled for Oct. 15, when workers are supposed to leave the campus