Solomon Creek Project Gets OK To Use Prefabricated Retaining Wall

September 25, 2018

Solomon Creek Project Gets OK To Use Prefabricated Retaining Wall

WILKES-BARRE — The Solomon Creek flood wall reconstruction project is progressing as city officials had hoped, now that the project contractor got approval to use part of a prefabricated retaining wall ordered by the previous contractor.

City Director of Economic and Community Development Joyce Morrash Zaykowski said last week that project contractor Don E. Bower Inc., of Berwick, agreed to work with Old Castle, the company from whom the previous contractor, A.R. Popple, ordered the prefabricated wall, if the project engineer approved shop drawings of the wall.

As of Monday, Zaykowski said, Borton Lawson approved those “key, time-sensitive shop drawings. … For now, Bower has enough approved, and they are currently working on a project timeline.”

Zaykowski said getting the shop drawings approved so the part of the wall Old Castle already manufactured under Popple’s order was “a key component to the job.” She said Popple had ordered the wall from Old Castle without first submitting shop drawings to Borton Lawson for approval.

At the administration’s recommendation, city council awarded Bower the first phase of the flood protection project at a cost of $2,017,955 on Aug. 9. Council previously awarded the contract to Popple, the lowest bidder at $1,548,488, in May. The administration terminated the contract without explanation in mid-July.

Tony Popple had told The Citizens’ Voice he was prepared to break ground by Aug. 1, begin installing the prefabricated flood wall by Sept. 1 and have the project complete by the city’s Nov. 21 deadline.

Lou Spaciano, of Borton Lawson, told council Aug. 9 that switching to the new contractor would mean that work was likely will begin in mid- to late-September and wrap up in the spring.

In addition to submitting shop drawings for the wall, Bower submitted sanitary sewer plan drawings as well, and some piping material, manholes and larger inlets have been approved and ordered, Zaykowski said.

“The city has been working with Bower on a large enough staging area near the site. Bower has been fantastic and very much on the ball. Once the rest of the drawings have been officially approved by Boron Lawson, Bower will put together a schedule/timeline that I will be happy to share,” Zaykowski said.

Plans to repair the flood wall, which protects about 700 homes in South Wilkes-Barre, were in the works for several years, but they were pushed up after a 40-foot section of wall between Waller and Barney streets collapsed Dec. 9, 2016. Temporary repairs have been in place since then. The city has

$6 million in state funding and borrowed another

$4 million for the project.

Contact the writer:


570-821-2110, @MocarskyCV

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