Traf­fic de­lays pos­si­ble dur­ing wa­ter line re­place­ments

Line up­grades will im­prove wa­ter flow

The Covington News - - LOCAL - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­news.com

Cov­ing­ton res­i­dents could see traf­fic de­lays south of the square and in the Old Mon­ti­cello Street area dur­ing the next year as work be­gins on re­plac­ing more than 26,000 lin­ear feet of city wa­ter lines, some of which are more than 100 years old.

Wa­ter lines are cur­rently be­ing re­placed on McCullough Drive and Misty Lane off Mon­ti­cello Street in Cov­ing­ton, and crews will move to other streets in the com­ing weeks and months.

No full road clo­sures are ex­pected, but some roads may be par­tially blocked, said Tim Smith, of­fice man­ager for the city’s pub­lic works depart­ment.

While there might be some de­lays, Smith said the wa­ter lines will be up­graded with larger lines that will im­prove wa­ter flow for both res­i­dents and fire pro­tec­tion. The new lines will also re­duce the num­ber of wa­ter main breaks in the area, Smith said.

The next streets to be af­fected will be Wood and Louise streets, off Old Mon­ti­cello Street, but the sched­ule af­ter that has not been de­ter­mined, Smith said.

The cost of the wa­ter line re­place­ments is $2.56 mil­lion. Fortis En­gi­neer­ing, of Cham­blee, was the low bid­der in March.

The money will come from a $4.5 mil­lion federal, low-in­ter­est Drink­ing Wa­ter State Re­volv­ing Fund loan, which is given out by the Ge­or­gia En­vi­ron­men­tal Fi­nance Author­ity (GEFA). The city will pay 0.5 per­cent in­ter­est on the 20-year loan, ac­cord­ing to GEFA’s web­site.

The cur­rent work is the first phase of a four-phase project, which will even­tu­ally re­place “66,000 lin­ear feet of de­te­ri­o­rat­ing 2-inch, 4-inch and 6-inch gal­va­nized and as­bestos ce­ment mains with new 8-inch duc­tile iron pipe” and re­place some fire hy­drants and valves, ac­cord­ing to GEFA.

All four phases are ex­pected to be com­plete by 2017, City En­gi­neer Tres Thomas said pre­vi­ously.

In late 2012, Cov­ing­ton grant writer Randy Con­ner said the city could be los­ing mil­lions of gal­lons of wa­ter through small leaks in its wa­ter sys­tem.

Con­ner said at the time that the city had in­stalled tran­site wa­ter lines con­tain­ing as­bestos ce­ment, which were fre­quently used in the 1900s un­til the lat­ter part of the century be­cause those lines were stronger and lasted longer.

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