20 Years Later and Still Going Strong

March 28, 2022
20 Years Later and Still Going Strong

The mission statement of Pennsylvania’s Whitpain Township is to “efficiently, responsibly, and creatively provide the essential services” that give life and value to any community, and Sewer Superintendent Gus Belmont has been taking that mission to heart for a couple of decades.

One way he has done this is by making a permanent change, in 2001, to the way his department raises sanitary manholes to grade after paving operations. Manholes that are raised precisely don’t create potholes that retain water and cause pavement wear, don’t catch on snowplow blades and pop out, and don’t fail in ways that cause lids to rattle out and create vehicle hazards. Also, efficient manhole raising is cost-effective.

The change Belmont made was to replace one type of adjustable manhole riser with another, the American Highway Products Pivoted Turnbuckle Manhole Riser, a product he has been using ever since. Since his first purchase of 35 risers, more than 2,000 of the AHP risers have been installed in Whitpain Township. “We have had no failures at all, and some of the first pivoted turnbuckle risers we installed in 2001 are still in place 20 years later,” Belmont says.

The previously used risers required the assembly of four sections and, “were hard to use,” Belmont says. “Worse, they weren’t sturdy at all—we use salt and have difficult conditions here, and the old risers just didn’t last. We set hundreds of those risers over the years, and they’re all gone now.”

By contrast, the pivoted turnbuckle riser is made of a single ring of galvanized U.S. steel, joined by the eponymous (and patented) turnbuckle, which crews are able to set in five minutes. They’ve been so reliable in Whitpain (and can be stored so efficiently) that the sewer department keeps up to 200 on hand and serves as a sort of distributorship for contractors and other departments that need to raise manholes to grade.

20 Years Later and Still Going Strong

Just as importantly, AHP risers can be ordered in very fine height (1/4” increments) and diameter increments, to accurately match any combination of rim diameter and paving lift.

“I have just a handful of vendors that I really rely on and recommend, and some of those have disappeared,” says Belmont. “It’s nice to know American Highway Products is still out there, going strong, and so good to work with—I’ll use them forever.”

expand_less