Preserving Arlington Memorial Bridge

Pizzagalli Construction Pumps Up Water Treatment Plant in Charlotte

Mon April 09, 2007 - Southeast Edition
Maybelle G. Cagle



Pizzagalli Construction Company is on schedule and approximately halfway finished with a $46 million project involving the Briar Creek Influent Pump Station at Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Charlotte, N.C.

The goal of the project is to serve current and future needs of customers as well as 10 year stormwater needs. The new sewer pipe will connect to the pump station when both are ready. While the pump station will be completed next year, the first phase of the Briar Creek Relief Sewer project will take two years to complete.

“The plant serves the eastern side of downtown Charlotte and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Cam Coley, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities spokesman.

He said the pump station also will handle flow from existing pipes coming into the wastewater treatment plant.

Included in the project owned by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities is the pump station, 20 mgd flow EQ basin and a 114-in. (290 cm) tunnel to get under a four-lane thoroughfare.

Project Manager Jeff Young said so far everything has gone “very smoothly” with the project.

Pizzagalli, which is almost 50 years old, is headquartered in South Burlington, Vt. The company has regional offices in Garner, N.C., and Portland, Maine.

The station where work is occurring is at the end of the line for the Briar Creek Sewer System.

“We are laying the first 612 feet of the new line along with the upgrade to the existing facility,” Young said.

Young said the biggest challenge of the project is not to interrupt the influent supply.

“I enjoy all facets in waste water and fresh water plants, because you are up against a new problem every day. It never gets to be the same thing every day. There is something new around every corner,” he added.

Some of the heavy equipment used in various phases of the project, said Young, includes a Komatsu PC 400 excavator, Cat 345 excavator, Cat D-3 dozer, Cat 938G loader, 150T Terex crane, 65T crane among others.

“Most of the equipment onsite is company owned and comes from our warehouse, although we rent depending on need,” noted Young.

Approximately 200,000 cu. yds. (153,000 cu m) of dirt have been excavated thus far, according to Young. No fill dirt has been brought in.

The work by Pizzagalli has included the installation of a 54 in. (137 cm) HDPE pipe to be used as a bypass for the existing Briar Creek branch of the sewer.

“Because there is work to be done in the area of the existing pipe it is necessary to reroute the sewer line,” Young said. “To accomplish the installation of the pipe, a doghouse manhole was put into place over the existing sewer line and a section of the temporary HDPE line was grouted into the manhole at a 90 degree angle to the existing pipe.”

During one part of the construction, Pizzagalli used four 12-in. (30 cm) “Silent Knight” Thompson Pumps.

“The reason for the pumps was that the bypass pipe was to be tied back into the same location as the line to be removed. To accomplish this, the existing line needed to be plugged both at the doghouse manhole and at the junction box it flowed into. The flow was pumped above ground using the four 12 inch pumps directly into the existing facilities. The existing RCP was then demolished and the remaining two pieces of HDPE were put into place, pressure tested and the flow was directed through the new bypass line. The tie-in was started at 2 a.m. to take advantage of lower flow that occurs early in the morning and was backfilled early the next day,” Young said.

Approximately 56 Pizzagalli employees are working onsite with a fluctuating number of subcontractors.

“Subs for this project include truck drivers, rod busters and electricians. Typically, most of our work in the Southeast is self-performed,” Young said.

For more information, visit www.pizzagalli.com. CEG