Soil contamination won't delay union excavation
As the Memorial Student Union excavation commenced last night, officials from UA Risk Management said workers will not have to worry about fuel oil contamination that was expected to hold up construction last week.
Herb Wagner, assistant director of University of Arizona Risk Management, said the contamination problem is nearly solved, and if test results on the soil come back with no trace of pollutants, there will be no need to continue removing soil.
"The initial results showed the soil was really low on petroleum hydrocarbons," he said.
Wagner said the analysis process will continue in the same fashion until the level of soil contamination is at an acceptable point.
"We took soil samples from the bottom of the area for analysis," he said. "If these results show very little contamination, then we may not have to do anything more."
Wagner said while the contaminated soil does present a problem, it was more dangerous to continue with its removal.
"They got to a point where it was not safe to take out any more soil because of the close proximity to the Memorial Student Union," he said.
Wagner also said workers from Swinerton & Walberg will help with the process.
"They actually had to put dirt back in the area," he said. "They are going to dig a little deeper and put up shoring on the walls first before we can remove anymore."
Doug Huie, senior project manager from Swinerton & Walberg, said excavation will continue as planned, which is important for the removal process of the contamination.
"They've taken out all that they can," he said. "They need us to do something before the soil can be removed."
Huie said Hydro Metrics, the subcontracted company handling the excavation project, will begin removing the dirt directly behind the student union.
"What we need to do next is begin excavating and putting up shoring before we can dig out the contaminated soil," he said.