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Residents frustrated with Porter's Hollow sewage project

A sewage project to restore about 65,000 feet of pipes in the South Hills area of Charleston is behind schedule, and now with winter weather on the way, construction isn’t moving at all. (WCHS/WVAH)

A sewage project to restore about 65,000 feet of pipes in the South Hills area of Charleston is behind schedule, and now with winter weather on the way, construction isn’t moving at all.

For much of the summer, Peter Harris could see the construction project from his front door, but now, the loud construction and long wait times to get in and out of Anderson Heights has come to a halt.

"The last time I saw any actions from the contractor was about two weeks or a little bit more ago,” Harris said.

The Porter’s Hollow sewage project is far from complete. Larry Roller, the manager of the Charleston Sanitary Board, said due to the number of complaints of road damage it has received since the project began, the board ordered the contractor, Tri-State Pipeline, to pause the work.

"We ordered him not to install anymore pipe until he restores and reconditions the pavement that he has disrupted in the work he's done to date. We're trying to address concerns of residents that are struggling with the bad conditions of those roads where he's been laying pipe,” Roller said.

But there has been no change.

"About a week later, there's been no change and the streets had not been fixed and there's been no activity at all since then,” Harris said.

Operations Manager Tim Haapala, who is overseeing the project, said it is only 40 percent complete.

"It's terribly behind schedule, and there have been unacceptable conditions that customers and residents have had to endure,” Haapala said.

With winter weather right around the corner, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said something must be done now.

"It has been a real hardship on the people who live up there. It's a very long sewer project. The question is who's going to fix it and at what costs? is the city going to have to step up and the sanitary board going to have to step up and settle this whole thing in court which I think is what's probably going to happen,” Jones said.

Harris said he hopes to see improvements soon.

"When's it going to be over? When are things going to be fixed up? I hope to live long enough, but it begins to seem that it's going to be another year anyway,” Harris said.

Sanitary board managers and Jones said they apologize for the inconvenience the project has created for the many people who live in those neighborhoods.

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