News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 26, 2013

Plans for Coke/Carbon site remediation are unveiled

Project to cost $5.3M, take about 6 months

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A $5.3 million project to remediate 20 acres of the former Terre Haute Coke and Carbon site at 13th and Hulman Streets is scheduled to begin June 1.

Site preparation, such as mobilizing equipment and installing mobile work offices, is set to start in mid May, officials with HIS Constructors Inc. reported in a construction coordinating meeting Thursday at Terre Haute City Hall.

“This will be a five- to six-month project, with about three-and-a-half months of excavation,” said Jay Geise, vice president of HIS Constructors, based in Indianapolis. The company was awarded a $2.7 million project in December to clear the site at 13th and Hulman streets.

Between 1,800 and 2,000 tons of soil will be removed per day. The soil will be hauled to and disposed of at the Sycamore Ridge Landfill in southern Vigo County. About $2.6 million of the project is to be paid to Republic for disposal.

The brownfield project, funded through the Indiana Brownfield Program and the Indiana Finance Authority, will remove about 80,000 cubic yards of soil contaminated with tar, arsenic, lead, naphthalene, benzo(a)pyrene and other hazardous substances.

(Brownfield is defined by The Free Dictionary online as: “A piece of industrial or commercial property that is abandoned or underused and often environmentally contaminated, especially one considered as a potential site for redevelopment.”)

While a trucking route has not yet been determined, it is estimated that trucks will take 75 minutes to haul to and from the landfill, with an additional 15 minutes at the landfill.

The project includes frontage along 13th Street to a setback extending 325 feet east of the property boundary and the Hulman Street frontage to a setback extending 325 feet south of the property boundary.

Excavation is planned to start on the northeast corner of the site along Hulman Street and continue in an “L” shape, ranging in depth from 6 to 8 feet or as shallow as 1 foot. The project includes the demolition and removal of any subsurface structures such as foundations, bricks, pipes or pits.

Those structures would be removed to a depth of 10 feet, Geise said.

Work at the site will be conducted 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A borrow site to replace soil will be determined in the next three to four days, said Brian Keeney, vice president of environmental operations for HIS Constructors. The city offered the use of 1,000 yards of extra dirt expected from a Hulman Lake dam project, which includes work to the dam’s emergency spillway.

Steven Standford, senior project manager for Weaver Boos Consultants, a construction and quality oversight firm for the city, said soil from the Hulman Lake dam and any soil from a borrow site must be tested. Standford also said his firm will closely monitor dust and dirt control at the site. Standford said the area has a sandy soil base, and he does not expect dust/dirt to be a problem.

A 6-foot security fence will surround the site during excavation.

In addition, a one-third mile, 10-foot wide asphalt trail will be installed along 13th Street. Pat Martin, chief planner for the city of Terre Haute, said the trail is a cost-effective way to cap the ground which is near an underground natural gas pipeline.

The site, which originally included 52 acres, was used as a coke and manufactured gas production facility from 1926 to 1988. The site manufactured 150,000 tons of high-carbon coke per year, with about 70 percent of the coke shipped to gray iron foundries. The city now owns 49 acres of the brownfield site.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or