• GMP sewer work planned on Merchants Row
    By Gordon Dritschilo
    Staff Writer | July 13,2013
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    A section of Merchants Row will become one lane by night over the next couple of weeks.

    The closure will accommodate the installation of a new water and sewer connection at Green Mountain Power’s Energy Innovation Center in the former Eastman building. GMP officials stressed that one lane will remain open at all times and the closure will only happen at night.

    “They’ll fill (the hole) back in every night — or day, I guess — at the end of the work shift,” said Steve Costello, GMP’s vice president of generation and energy innovation. “It’ll be gravel — it won’t be paved — but people will be able to travel up and down the street as normal during the day.”

    The work is scheduled to begin Monday and expected to take up to two weeks. Work will run from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., except for Tuesday, when it will begin at 6 p.m.

    Costello said the existing water and sewer connection is roughly 100 years old.

    “The current sewer pipe is an old clay pipe we don’t really want to rely on,” Costello said.

    The hookup will also get equipment designed to prevent sewage backflow, thus easing fears about flooding in the building.

    Costello said the existing water connection is a 1-inch pipe which will not be able to meet the building’s water needs.

    GMP bought the long-vacant art supply store — which some city officials described as one of the most blighted locations in Rutland — last year. When finished, the Energy Innovation Center will house several of the utility’s employees along with representatives of Efficiency Vermont and NeighborWorks of Western Vermont.

    A museum component and a college lecture series is planned for the space, which is slated to open in the fall.

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