It wasn’t swimming weather, as jets of wet concrete about the same hue as the gray January sky were sprayed over a framework of rebar Tuesday.
But the start of the shotcrete installation marked a milestone in getting the delayed public pool in Phillipsburg’s Walters Park ready for warmer months.
The town council at its Nov. 22 meeting approved a change in its pool construction contract awarded to All State Technology Inc., to allow for the pool installation with shotcrete, also known as gunite, rather than the traditional method of pouring concrete.
The change did not affect the cost, which had grown by $465,000 or 19.33% from the original contract award of $2.41 million, for a total cost of about $2.87 million.
Councilman Randy Piazza Jr. at the November meeting sought assurances the change wasn’t inferior to traditional concrete work, and town engineer Timothy O’Brien said the shotcrete method is now the industry standard.
“This is in line with the contractor’s recommendation for this type of facility,” O’Brien said.
Council President Harry Wyant Jr. said he understood the new monolithic approach would be superior to seams that caused trouble with the old pool.
“So this seems to be a better system, from what I see,” he said.
Phillipsburg officials in September 2021 signed the contract for the pool with Oak Ridge, New Jersey-based All State Technology, and the old pool built in 1955 was quickly demolished. Then delays pushed back the opening beyond the original goal of the 2022 swim season.
With the shotcrete approval, the project completion date was set as May 26, 2023, in time for Memorial Day weekend.
Construction remains on schedule, Mayor Todd Tersigni said Tuesday.
“This administration is committed to getting this done for our community,” he told lehighvallelive.com.
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Kurt Bresswein may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.