BEAVER COUNTY (KDKA) — Old Economy Village in Ambridge allows you to peek back in time.

Buildings were built in the 1820s and are held together with just clay and straw.

“You can see the nature of itself is very fragile,” said homeowner Rick Markardt, as he held some of the dry clay and straw in his hand.

He and others are worried about a plan by the Ambridge Municipal Authority to put a 20-inch sewer underground through the historic district.

“We are fearful,” said Connie Kovolenko, who is part of the local economic development corporation.

“One of the contractors said the process is going to be long, going to be ugly and it’s going to be violent,” said homeowner Dennis Lapic.

They and others showed up at the Municipal Authority meeting Monday night asking for the line to be rerouted or to at least to have the project put on hold.

They received a bit of a victory when it was decided to delay the awarding of the contract on the project. However, Authority Chairman Richard Helbig says, “The project is not on hold.”

He says they’ll move forward with another part of it, so they don’t lose a $4 million grant. And as for the Old Economy part: “Our engineer has done everything possible so that nothing will happen to Old Economy.”

Helbig says they’ll look at rerouting the line, however, he says that comes with a price.

“It’s going to cost millions of dollars more to reroute it, and I’d like to know if the rate-payers want us to pass it along to them. I don’t think they do.”

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David Highfield