Thursday, July 9, 2015
By Jordyn Grzelewski
A replacement project for two pipelines that run under parts of Mill Creek MetroParks now is complete.
Sunoco Pipeline L.P., which has worked on pipelines that deliver refined products such as gasoline from the Midwest to eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, now is working to restore an area affected by this part of the project.
Pipelines run through the southern parts of the MetroParks Farm/Bikeway and Hitchcock Woods preserve. All work at the MetroParks Farm site was completed last year; restoration now is underway at Hitchcock Woods.
“They’re doing site clean-up and just general restoration,” said Justin Rogers, park system planning manager. “They have compensated us, and we are then going to conduct our own restoration to get the plant material that we specify.”
Restoration work will include soil-grading and planting seeds for native wildflowers and grass, Rogers said. The park system was compensated $250,000 for the project, which includes funds for restoration.
Work on park property was permitted due to easement agreements Sunoco has with Mill Creek MetroParks. An agreement with Mahoning County dates back to 1930; the park system entered into agreements in 1967.
Sunoco had to acquire two new easement agreements for a new section of easement in Hitchcock Woods. New agreements were necessary so the company could shift a connection to a line by a couple hundred feet, Rogers previously said.
Sunoco replaced 6-inch diameter pipe with 12-inch diameter pipe.
No issues affecting park property arose during the course of the work, he said, despite the fact that it was a “major undertaking.”
Restoration of the Hitchcock Woods area is slated to be complete by early fall.
Work began this week on another project: restoration of two of the park system’s historic stone-arch bridges.
The project is a rehabilitation of Orchard Meadow and Rogers bridges, both of which were built over Bear Creek in the early 1990s. Workers will clean and re-point the bridges’ stone masonry, construct retaining curbs and replace the pavement over the bridges.
The project is part of a larger effort by the park system to rehabilitate and preserve roadways, bridges and historic infrastructure.
West and Lily Pond drives, where the bridges are located, will close for durations of the project that is expected to take 60 days. Park visitors still will be able to access the Lily Pond and Birch Hill Cabin.