A puddle gathers at the Westinghouse demolition site with chunks of concrete around the puddles.
Excavator crews at the Westinghouse demolition site discovered water leaks on Aug. 16. One of five leaks have been fixed as of Sept. 6. (Richland Source file photo)

MANSFIELD — Water continues to leak from city lines at the former Westinghouse site as R & D Excavating crews discover obstacles in demolition work.

“(The City of Mansfield) is still investigating the water issues and where the leaks are coming from,” Richland County Land Bank manager Amy Hamrick said Wednesday. “They’ve continued to haul and crush concrete and rip up foundation where it’s dry enough.”

Hamrick told Land Bank board members that R & D requested a $725,280 change order to the $4 million demolition contract approved in September 2022. The board conditionally approved the request, based on the company finding more steel and concrete to remove from the sprawling site on the city’s east side.

“I’ll be honest, it’s a little bit hefty, but they’ve deserved every penny of it with all the extra things and work they’ve done,” Hamrick said.

The demolition contract has also been extended through May 2024.

“As they’ve bust up the concrete pads, there’s more concrete under some of them,” Land Bank board chair Bart Hamilton said. 

“If you think back to this being the early 1900s, they probably just dug a deeper hole when they needed to expand because they didn’t have the equipment we have today.”

In terms of the water line leaks, Hamrick said city crews have covered open manholes and stopped one of five water leaks found on the site. Crews are still investigating which lines and valves serve the other leaks, continuing a process that began a month ago.

Adrian Ackerman, community development and housing director for the City of Mansfield, said tests have found the leaking water is clean.

The identified water leaks at the Westinghouse demolition site are circled in red. Credit: Richland County Land Bank

R & D can continue concrete demolition once the water flow is stopped and water is pumped out of the pits. The Mannik Smith Group from Toledo has agreed to pump any contaminants out of the pits.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting:

  • The Land Bank board signed a mutual intent and understanding agreement on the Cozy Glow abatement work on the Westinghouse site. The Land Bank will act as the city’s agent to place a tax lien on the property to recover the cost of the property’s $1.6 million mortgage.
  • Board members voted to approve $3,850 to clean up a property at 661 Park Ave. East.
  • The City of Mansfield donated three parcels of West Third Street between Sycamore and North Benton streets to the Land Bank.
  • The board approved Singh Properties and Investment LLC’s request to withdraw its purchase offer of 318 W. Third St.

Ball State journalism alumna. Passionate about sharing stories, making good coffee and finding new podcasts. You can reach me at grace@richlandsource.com.