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Workers replacing collapsed drain pipe in Coal Grove

COAL GROVE — A crew from Southern Ohio Trenching began work Thursday to install a new drain pipe near L&J Dairy Bar on Marion Pike to help reduce the build up of water accumulating since the old pipe’s collapse almost a year ago.

Mayor Larry McDaniel said the project has taken awhile to complete due to not understanding the exact problem in the beginning and acquiring the money to fund the work.

“Last spring when we had all the heavy rains and storms we had the pipe collapse on us,” McDaniel said. “FEMA sent a representative to scope it. At first they thought we just had to clean it, but when they ran a camera through they found out it had collapsed.”

After the confirmation of the pipe’s collapse, Coal Grove had to reapply for funding and take contract bids for the job. McDaniel said the process took some time to get going, but expects the trench work to be completed today and new blacktop laid after everything has settled in two or three weeks.

The accepted bid for the new drain pipe came to be about $31,600, McDaniel said. He said FEMA covered 75 percent of the bid, with the State of Ohio and Village of Coal Grove each taking 12.5 percent.

B.J. Webb, superintendent for Southern Ohio Trenching, said replacing the pipe has been a straightforward job with no real problems.

“Got started Thursday, got rained out Friday, but the job has been going smoothly otherwise,” Webb said. “We have been waiting for the rain to slack off since we got the bid so we wouldn’t get flooded trying to get this stuff in here.”

Flooding is common in southern Ohio, but becomes even more of an issue when working in an 18-foot self-dug trench, Webb said. He added the five-man crew works together as a team to get the job done quickly and safely.

McDaniel said the water backup was only a problem after heavy rains, but he had not received any complaints. Even so, he said it will be good for those living in the drainage area to have the new pipe installed and doing its job as the weather warms up and mosquitos and other bugs become a nuisance.