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Vienna Approves Emergency Sewer Repair Funding

The Vienna Town Council unanimously approved $400,000 in funding for emergency sewer repairs yesterday (Monday).

The funds will go to contractor Tri-State Utilities for the inspection and potential repair of the Piney Branch-Difficult Run trunk sewer, a 21-inch line located inside Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

The sewer line serves the Town of Vienna as well as surrounding portions of Fairfax County, including the Tysons business district.

The Town of Vienna learned that the sewer would need to repair the sewer in late March after Fairfax County inspectors alerted the town’s Department of Public Works that portions of the line were in danger of collapsing.

“It has holes in it. There’s rocks protruding in it, and roots,” Vienna Public Works director Michael Gallagher said. “It’s about 750 linear feet of pipe that needs to be rehabilitated.”

The repairs are expected to involve lining three sections of the sewer where the pipe wall has been corroded by hydrogen sulfide and broken up by roots and a large rock protruding through the top of the pipe, according to the Department of Public Works.

Vienna used an emergency waiver to hire Tri-State Utilities for the emergency repair work on Sept. 21 after facing challenges finding a contractor and obtaining permission to proceed from the U.S. National Park Service, which owns Wolf Trap National Park.

Gallagher says costs for the repairs are not expected to exceed $400,000, though the contractor has not yet determined the final scope of the work.

Because of a 1963 agreement that allows the town to share operations and maintenance costs for its sewers with Fairfax County, Vienna will be reimbursed by the county for 63 percent of the project’s expenses. The town is responsible for 37 percent of the costs.

As the owner of the sewer line, the Town of Vienna is obligated to contract for the full cost of the repairs. Any money left over from the approved $400,000 will be funneled back into the town’s capital improvements program, according to Gallagher.

Gallagher could not confirm a date for when the repairs will be completed, but he says they will allow the sewer line to last at least 50 more years.

Photo via Emerging Arts Leaders DC

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