By Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
A consultant working on a project to rebuild First Street from one end of Havre to the other is having holes drilled to test soil under the street for contamination.
"We're just looking at the soil in the highway right of way that may be affected by the highway construction," said Mark Brooke of Morrison Maierle Inc.
The construction project, scheduled to start in 2006, will reconstruct 2.4 miles of U.S. Highway 2 as it passes through Havre as First Street.
Brooke said the drilling started three days ago, on the east end of the project.
The construction will take place from about Ninth Avenue West to 22nd Avenue NE.
The lane configuration of the rebuilt highway will hardly change, and most on-street parking will be retained.
The water and sewer lines under the street will be replaced by the city of Havre at the same time.
The soil testing is being done at places with known or suspected soil contamination, Brooke said. Most of the sites are near existing or former sites of filling stations or fuel supply businesses, or have known or suspected contamination from the railroad, Brooke said.
The soil will be tested in the field, with some samples sent in for laboratory testing, he added.
The testing will provide an estimate of how much soil is contaminated and how much will have to be transported to approved sites by the contractor doing the construction.
Brooke said the testing is only being done on the north side of the street, and should not restrict access to businesses. The crew moves on to the next site fairly quickly, he said.
The project will be completed today.
The drilling is being done by Borland Drilling of Great Falls. Brooke said the soil will be tested at both 2 feet and 4 feet under the street, the depth the trenches will be dug during the construction.