Oct 01, 2007

From Pond to Pipe

Located on the Newington, Conn., town line, beside the Berlin Turnpike, the Newington Power Center is a large parcel of land that was developed in the early 1990s. It performed poorly for more than a decade despite having housed major retail stores.

But things are changing for the better. The Newington Power Center is filling up with new establishments. A space that stood vacant for nearly 15 years, for example, is now going to be a Sam's Club.

The design of the plaza does not follow a typical mall layout. It stretches over a low-lying area below the Berlin Turnpike. The apparent visibility problem may have contributed to the plaza's business slump, but a store the size of Sam's Club should have no problem attracting customers.

The previous owners of the property had put in three manmade ponds to handle storm water runoff. But with all the changes happening above ground at the Newington Power Center, the entire site needed an environmental upgrade.

Detention Solution

In order to maximize the land available for the new Sam's Club and its parking lot, one of the manmade ponds has been replaced with an underground detention system from CONTECH. The CMP detention system for this site will be the largest such installation to date in Connecticut. It will handle storm water runoff from the properties northwest of the Berlin Turnpike as well as the adjacent plaza properties.

Fuss & O'Neill Inc., Manchester, Conn., is the consulting engineering firm working on the project. Andrew Carrier, project manager, is familiar with CONTECH from previous projects and sought out the company's expertise. CONTECH helped to ensure that the new system design met all permitting standards set by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection by providing the proper documentation for the project submittal package.

The flow rates had to be accurately matched to the preexisting pond area. "Part of the site development process includes proving that what you are doing is not affecting anything down or upstream," Carrier said. "The new system had to be modeled so that people living in the area will not be adversely affected by storm water associated with the development."

"We're putting pipe in place of one of the ponds, so the pond had to be drained," he added. "We needed to make sure it was no longer accepting flow before the CMP could go in the ground."

The base for the detention system had to meet all geotechnical requirements, and, despite a challenging permitting process, the site preparation for the system was a success.

Portable Pipe Production

Another interesting aspect of this project is the CONTECH Construction Products PIPE Mobile Production Vehicle (MPV) . The PIPE MPV is ideal for this site and its restricted traffic patterns. The technology provides fast and cost-effective onsite steel pipe manufacturing. It is designed to be a self-supporting factory that can be quickly deployed and put into production.

Once on site, the pipe manufacturing progresses quickly enough to allow pipe installation within four hours. "It's just the most cost-efficient way to produce 72-in. pipe in 50-ft lengths," Carrier said. "The cost to produce elsewhere and ship to the site would be incrementally more. It's been great to have it here."

The detention system is now completely installed. The building pad is expected to be ready on Oct. 1, 2007, and the new store is scheduled for a grand opening in the fall of 2008.

Don Herbert is with CONTECH Construction Products Inc. Herbert can be reached at 860.537.1570 or by e-mail at [email protected] .