Derry Signs Agreement with State Over I-93 Sewer Relocation

The Derry Town Council has signed a “Force Account Agreement” with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding a section of Derry’s effluent sewer force main located within the state right-of-way for Interstate 93.

The agreement is part of the widening of I-93 from Salem to Manchester.

Derry Deputy Director of Public Works Tom Carrier spoke to the agreement at the March 3 Town Council meeting.

He explained that part of the effluent sewer force main goes through Londonderry and under I-93. “They are planning to expand the footprint of Route 93 in the area and that will require the town to expand the part of the pipe under 93,” Carrier said.

He wrote in a memo that the expansion was “problematic” due to the current alignment of the pipeline, presence of ledge and location of the town’s easement. As a result, he said, an estimated 300-foot portion of the pipeline will require relocation.

Carrier said that because a portion of Derry’s pipeline is located within the state right-of-way, the town is responsible for the design and engineering cost associated with the relocation, according to RSA 228:22. However, as the state is also expanding its Right-of-Way by another 60 feet, the state is willing to reimburse the town 100 percent of the costs for the relocation, according to the Force Account Agreement.

The state is also willing to reimburse the town 20 percent of the engineering/design costs, which are estimated at $15,212.64. DOT’s portion of that cost is $3,042.53 and the town’s share, $12,170.11, Carrier said.

The town’s portion of the design work will be funded through the existing FY 2015 Sewer Fund budget, Carrier said.

Carrier said the state will also reimburse the town 100 percent for the relocation of the 60-foot section of pipe located outside the state Right-Of-Way; for the portion of pipe located within the Right-Of-Way, it will reimburse 100 percent of the excavation and backfill, plus the book value of the pipe.

Carrier wrote that the construction work will be included in the DOT I-93 construction bid, and the actual cost for the pipeline relocation will not be known until those bids are received.

Councilor Tom Cardon said he had read the RSA and wondered, “What part of the construction will we have to pick up?”

“Everything else,” Carrier said. “They will pay for everything outside of the right-of-way.”

Cardon said he had a problem with the state’s imposing a cost on the town, and said he would vote no out of protest.

Chairman Mark Osborne asked Carrier if the expense would be counted toward the $5 million the town is obligated to pay for the construction of Exit 4-A and Carrier said, “No, this is independent of 4-A.”

The Council voted 5-1 in favor of approving the Force Account Agreement and authorizing Town Administrator Galen Stearns to begin the paperwork associated with it. Cardon’s was the dissenting vote.