City starting on major Strong Boulevard water project

·2 min read

Aug. 30—A piece of a large 12-inch cracked pipe shows the condition of one of McAlester"s older water lines as the city gears up for another major water improvement project.

Dale Burke, of Infrastructure Solutions Group, brought the section of cracked and broken pipe that was part of a water transmission line to City Hall so city officials could see the pipe's condition for themselves.

"You can see the kind of shape this pipe is in," Burke said as he lifted the cracked pipe, estimated to be around 80 years old.

Infrastructure Solutions is working with the city to provide engineering services for many of the city's ongoing water improvements projects. It's part of a process that will eventually cover 28 projects through the city's $32.5 million overall plan, approved by a vote of the people, to upgrade the city's water service and water transmission lines.

The upcoming phase is a nearly $2 million project to replace water transmission lines along along Strong Boulevard. City councilors have already approved a total bid amount of $1,849,942 from Lone Hickory Cattle, LLC. Mayor John Browne is authorized to sign a notice of award for the project, called the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds Project 6, the Strong Boulevard Water Systems Improvement Project.

Burke said the plan calls for replacement of a major water line, with the project to begin two blocks north of Wade Watts Avenue and then extend south to South Avenue. Much of the new water line will be a 12-inch transmission line, with some 10-inch, 8-inch and 6-inch water lines also included.

Asked if the pipe runs beneath the street along Strong Boulevard, Burke said the large water transmission line currently in use does run beneath the street.

"The existing line runs down the middle of Strong Boulevard," Burke said — but the new line will be placed to run alongside the street, which will prevent the entire street having to be dug out when the new water lines are installed. Burke said there will have to be some digging for street crossings.

Still, plans call for the bulk of the 12-inch water transmission line to run parallel to the roadway — which should also prevent the street from being torn into in case any future repairs are needed. The hope is that will not be the case, with estimates the new PVC pipe being installed could last for 100 years.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.