$20 Million Water Main Project Moves Forward - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/13/07

$20 Million Water Main Project Moves Forward

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The city averages about 30 water main breaks a month, most of them caused by drastic temperature changes and the old-age of the pipe. So business owners and leaders on 34th street say this project is long overdue.

"A lot of people forget about 34th street but it is a major artery through the city," says Branding Iron owner Edward Isaac.

"It's been since 1950, prior to 1950 that the city has spent infrastructure money on 34th street so we're very tickled about a 10 million dollar project to replace the water line on 34th street," says Andy Turner, president of the 34th Street Association.

Ten million dollars will go into 34th street between Ave. A and Quaker. Another $10 Million will replace water mains downtown.

"That money has already been allocated by city council through capitol projects," says Wood Franklin, City Water Utility Engineer.

So it's not a new taxpayer expense. And business owners along 34th street couldn't be happier about the project.

"I think it's great. It's long over due and I'm glad the city has decided to do some improvements on 34th street," said Isaac.

In order to ease the disruption along 34th, the new water line will be put on 33rd street.

"The city has assured us that they will make it as easy as possible for the business owners and residents on 33rd street," said Turner.

While downtown it will affect several streets. But when it's all said and done 16th street will see the most change - it'll be paved, not bricked.

"One of the problems we had was as we pull bricks out we're going to lose a certain number of bricks because they're all fractured," said Franklin.

Don't worry, the city historical committee and the city engineer's will be taking bricks from 16th to replace the cracked bricks on other streets.

"Both of those projects have a construction time of about 11 to 12 months," said Franklin.

In June, crews re-connecting water lines for the Marsha sharp freeway hit an unmapped valve--creating this 25-million gallon mess along 34th and Slide. But this time, the city says it's already taking precautions.

"We've hired what we call an SUE, a sub-surface engineer," said Franklin and when it's finished, "This project we do have a life span of about 75 years," added Franklin. 

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