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Mekis Construction Company
Ellwood City, PA – 2005 – $102,000

Scope of Work:
In preparation of demolition of a 1930’s bridge, PENNDOT encountered lead in the soil beneath the span. Lead had reached the soil from the paint as it weathered through the years and from past sandblasting operations to prepare the bridge for repainting. Removal of the contaminated soil was required for the project to continue.

High concentrations of lead were determined through analystical testing in the top 12 inches of soil. The soil was a mix of loose granulated slag and sandy loam. The hillside beneath the bridge was steep with a 1-to-1 slope (45 degrees) and about 150 feet long.

The long, steep slope made use of conventional excavating equipment impractical and dangerous. Instead, Neumeyer Environmental utilized a HEPA filtered high-volume vacuum pump. Workmen traversed the slope, tethered to supporting ropes with full body harnesses, and pumped the contaminated soil using five-inch diameter vacuum hoses. The vacuum transferred the soil up the slope to a bagging station. Tthe contaminated soil was disposed at regulated facility.

Neumeyer Environmental removed 817 tons of contaminated soil from the slope in two weeks.