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Waterline project could cause service interruptions

By Sherry Koonce skoonce@news-journal.com
Nov. 8, 2012 at 11 p.m.


Construction crews this week began ripping up concrete to start replacing aging water lines along a four-block segment of First Street in downtown Longview, between Methvin and Magrill streets.

People in the area can expect some interruptions in water service, city officials said, but will be notified in advance. Excel Utility, of Longview, is the contractor for the $190,000 project, which involves swapping 2-inch lines with 6-inch lines and adding 6-inch water mains.

Crews are removing sidewalks and parking lots of buildings that once lined the block between Methvin and Whaley. Once the work is complete, grass will be planted.

The First Street work is part of a larger waterline replacement project that will cost about $607,000, said city spokesman Shawn Hara.

The overall project includes construction of 3,600 linear feet of 6-inch water main and related work at Jewel, Whaley, First, Seventh and Sandifer streets; 1,700 linear feet of wastewater main and related work at Pinebrook and Hughey; and other miscellaneous work as necessary to complete installations.

Excel's contract began Aug. 30. The company has five months to complete the project in its entirety, Hara said.

The First Street work is one of several projects in or near downtown.

Traffic flow on Green Street, from Cotton to Methvin, has been interrupted since Oct. 9 when crews began a $6 million reconstruction project that will increase vehicle clearance on the Green Street underpass, improve the street's underlying infrastructure and add new pavement.

While construction is ongoing, east/west traffic on Cotton Street is reduced to one lane in each direction, and north/south traffic on Green Street is closed between Cotton and Tyler streets.

East/west traffic on Tyler Street is closed at the Green Street location.

Hara said the partial closings are expected to remain in effect until early May, when the entire Green Street project is scheduled to be completed.

The Green Street reconstruction project is the second-largest project in the $52.6 million street bond package approved by voters in 2011. Eventually, Green Street will be improved between Cotton and Whaley, with the intersections to have a similar design to the one at Tyler and Fredonia streets.

Further into the city's south side, construction crews are starting improvements to the Birdsong sidewalks. The $610,799 project is expected to be completed by mid-January.

Sidewalk improvements along Birdsong, from Lilly Street to Mobberly Avenue, complement those nearly completed on Martin Luther King Boulevard, that extend from Cotton Street to Young Street.

The $670,000 sidewalks project is also part of the streets bond package.

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