Contamination found, project continues as planned

Construction workers dig up contaminated soil on the corner of Winslow Way and Madison Avenue.  - John Becerra/Staff Photo
Construction workers dig up contaminated soil on the corner of Winslow Way and Madison Avenue.
— image credit: John Becerra/Staff Photo

Winslow Way reconstruction workers discovered contaminated soil near Madison Avenue this week, but city officials said the amount was not unexpected and the project is moving along without delay.

About two to three truckloads of fuel-based contaminated soils were located at the corner of Madison Avenue and Winslow Way, which was once the location of both a car dealership and a service station. The soil was found while the city was excavating for the new sewer main replacement.

“As one would expect at an old gasoline station, some of the petroleum has migrated into the adjacent roadway,” said Interim City Manager Brenda Bauer. “Single-hull tanks were used for many decades and they did not contain leaks well. Petroleum contamination is pretty routine in utility works.”

Bauer said they city expects to find about six truckloads of contaminated soil through the course of the project, which is within the allotted budget and matches city’s expectations.

The soils were identified and are being stockpiled, covered and tested by hazardous materials specialists, according to the city's press release. Clean soils will be returned to the site and the contaminated soils will be disposed of at the appropriate facilities.

Bauer said there is no delay associated with the soil findings, but added that the city wants to be transparent because of previous community concerns about hazardous materials at other sites on the island.

“Everything is moving forward pretty much as we expected, but we want to give project updates and we know this is a high-profile project,” she said. “I want the community to know I will be very honest and transparent about everything that happens.”

The project has not yet encountered groundwater.

Beginning next week, more activity is expected as the second construction crew will begin installing the water main.

An information banner was placed on the wall of the Winslow Mall and another was added in the Town & Country Market café, which will have updates on biweekly merchant memo, project postcards and a traffic detour map.

Read here for more construction information or check-out the "Street Smarts" site for updates.

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