Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 19, 2018

Water main work along Burlington

Residents should see improved flow
By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Jun 01, 2018
Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photo Traffic cones push eastbound vehicles and cyclists into the center turning lane on East Burlington Avenue between B and D streets. Water mains are being installed under the parking on the south side of Burlington.

The city of Fairfield is replacing water mains along East Burlington Avenue, which has required closing one of its lanes for a few blocks.

Excavation began a few weeks ago between B and D streets. Traffic cones force eastbound traffic to use the center lane, normally reserved for turning vehicles, while a water main is installed under the parking on the south side of the street. The project is expected to be done by the end of June.

 

Sidewalk

The sidewalk along East Burlington at the intersection with South C Street is closed. The rest of the sidewalk along the south side of Burlington is open to the public, though residents should avoid it if possible because of the holes being dug in the nearby parking.

City Engineer Melanie Carlson said the project has been on the city’s to-do list for years. She said the main being replaced is the original one installed generations ago.

Repairing mains along Burlington Avenue was difficult when it was a state highway because the state government required the city to jump through many hoops. Since the construction of the Highway 34 bypass in 2008, Burlington Avenue ceased being a state highway. Now that it’s easier to work on, the city has made installing new water lines along Burlington a priority.

 

Stopping leaks

“We were noticing a lot of leaks,” Carlson said. “Not only were we wasting water, but it was inconvenient to repair because we had to dig up the road.”

Carlson said the city has prioritized replacing leaky water lines under streets to reduce the chances of having to destroy the road again to fix a leak.

The city prepared the plans and specifications for the project, and took bids from private contractors. Drish Construction of Fairfield won the contract, bidding about $137,000 to replace the water main between B and D streets and along South C Street from Burlington to Washington avenues.

Carlson said the project costs more than originally planned because the city opted to have the contractor bore underneath trees instead of digging a long trench that would have damaged their roots.

Water superintendent Steve Redinger said many of the water lines in the area are likely made of lead, and they will be replaced with copper.

The city is responsible for the water main until it reaches the curb, and then it becomes the homeowner’s responsibility.

 

Water flow

Redinger said residents in the area should notice improved water flow because the city is installing larger mains. The main along Burlington will increase from 6 inches in diameter to 8.

“At the time it was installed, a 6-inch main was more than enough,” Redinger said. “As the town grows, we need to upsize to get the volume of flow to those outer areas.”

Residents who live on C Street near Burlington have particularly bad water flow because the water main under the street is only 2 inches in diameter. The city will upgrade that to a 6-inch main.

“People won’t have problems getting water to their sinks or bathrooms upstairs,” Redinger said. “Before, if a neighbor was using water, it might slow yours down, too, especially on South C Street. That was a major reason to get this done, to give those people better flow.”

Carlson said the city plans to replace water mains along Burlington Avenue little by little, about two to three blocks per year. Next year, the city will begin where it left off this year, replacing the water main from D Street headed east.

 

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