LIMA — Starting next week, City of Lima residents will need to prepare for some explosions.
Due to the Simmons Field overflow tank project hitting literal bedrock, contractors will be using dynamite to remove another 75,000 cubic yards of stone material from the 400 by 200 foot hole that has been recently dug just outside of the Lima Locos home turf.
“The rock isn’t going to come out as easy as the dirt did,” Public Utilities Director Mike Caprella said. ” So they’re going to have blast it out.”
Caprella said the explosions will occur between 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday daily for at least a few weeks. The blasting company will give warning of the single daily blast with three horns or sirens.
The scheduled explosions are not expected to cause any major vibrations for the surrounding neighborhood, but they will most definitely be heard, Caprella said.
The Simmons Field overflow tank build is an EPA-mandated project meant to reduce the number of sewer overflow events when the area gets hit by heavy rain and a small percentage of wastewater floods into the Ottawa River. Built to collect additional runoff and store it until it can be treated at a controlled rate, the construction of the 13-million gallon tank is slated to last for three years at a cost of $40 million.
Initial groundbreaking began in May. Since that time, 90,000 cubic yards of soil have been removed from the field — shipped outside of the area by a continuous parade of large trucks. On site, trucks drive in and out of the hole every few minutes after being filled with dirt by backhoes stripping away the little soil remaining inside of the retaining wall that keeps the sides from caving in.
Caprella said plans are being made to open up another entrance into the pit to create secondary access for truck traffic moving into the area. Once the stone is removed, another wave of cement trucks will then be moved into the area to pour what will be the actual tank. The final step will be to cover up what was built with eight to ten feet of topsoil. In a few years’ time, the field should look like it did before construction began.
Mayor David Berger said the east side of Lima should be used to the sound of explosions because of the nearby stone quarry. The noises coming from Simmons Field will be similar, but they will just happen to be coming from the center of Lima, he said.
The blasting company will be conducting a test on Monday and the first official blast — most likely the loudest — will happen on the following Tuesday.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.