Louisville Water to spend $23 million to repair 48-inch water ma - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Water to spend $23 million to repair 48-inch water main on Eastern Parkway

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's going to take three years and $23 million to fix a 48-inch water main in the Highlands. A break in the 48-inch main in April of 2014 created a waterfall in Tyler Park, collapsing the intersection of Baxter Avenue and Eastern Parkway.

There have been continual problems over the years, and robotic inspection revealed additional weak spots along the pipe walls.

Now, it's time for a permanent fix for the nearly 100-year-old water main. So the Louisville Water Company is going to replace more than two miles of the water main. The 6.4 mile-construction project runs along Eastern Parkway.

"We're going to be able to do this without anyone losing water," said Louisville Water spokeswoman Kelley Dearing Smith. "We're going to keep Eastern Parkway open. We're going to preserve the beauty and the character. There will be traffic detours, but that comes with a project like this." 

But those detours are a major concern for businesses including Sensations Salon and Spa.

"There is some worry, because we do have some clients that drive form Okolona and different parts of town," said Cathy Nuss, a nearby stylist. "They do mention the traffic, the parking. It could potentially hurt our business here."

"The traffic detours will really only last a few days or a week or so," Dearing Smith said. "So it's not going to be like a road shutdown for months
at a time, because we are moving along the route putting the new pipe in."

Phase 1 of the project is set to begin in November and run through mid-April of 2017. It will focus on 2.2 miles of water main running from Eastern Parkway and Beargrass Creek near Poplar Level Road to Grinstead Drive near Lexington Road and Cherokee Park.

Phase 2 will begin in November of 2017 and then Phase 3 in November 2018. The project will end in April 2019.

Because the water main must be empty to install the new pipe, Louisville Water can only do the slip-lining in the winter months when water demand is lower. Because the utility has a network of large water mains, it can remove the Eastern Parkway main from service while other mains pick up the water load.

Rather than closing Eastern Parkway completely in order to dig up and replace the entire water main, Louisville Water will slip-line a new, smaller pipe directly inside an aging one. In this case, contractors will insert a 42-inch steel pipeline inside the existing 48-inch cast-iron pipe. This process allows Eastern Parkway to remain open and minimizes detours and delays. This is the first slip-lining project in Louisville Water history, though the practice is common in other water utilities.

Becky Thomas, a longtime Highlands resident says, "I guess it's something we have to live with because it's supposed to be a long term fix and we have to have healthy water. Louisville is known for their good water, so we want to keep it fresh and safe."

You can find an overview of the project here

Related Stories:

Inspection underway on one of Louisville's oldest and largest water mains

Crews locate water main break near Tyler Park

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