By Ashley Rader
Through the woods and under the river.
No, that’s not the alternate path to Grandma’s house. That’s the path the Hampton water line project is taking toward completion, and it might be a longer trip than anticipated.
Crews have been working to replace the current water line, which could be around 100 years old, since July 2012. The line will extend from the Hampton spring, along Rittertown Road and the Doe River and will follow the old railroad bed through the forest and an old railroad tunnel until it is joined with an existing pipe in Valley Forge.
Early Friday morning, City Manager Jerome Kitchens said it looked like the boring project to install the water lines under Doe River would be completed by the end of the weekend. However, that changed just a few hours later, when construction crews were delayed after getting hung up in cobble under the river. Cobble consists of rocks that are smaller than 12 inches but larger than 3 inches.
“We were expecting to have this part of the project done by the end of the weekend,” Kitchens said. “They are hung up right now, and we are now worried it won’t happen. They are willing to work through the weekend to see how much they can get done and if they can get through.”
Boring a space for the water pipe under the Doe River and U.S. Highway 19E has proven to be a challenge to the underground utility subcontractors working on the project. The crew now on the job is the second subcontractor to try to tackle the project.
Kitchens and the crew were optimistic this phase of the project would be completed soon based on the progress the crews made Thursday when around 40 feet of pipe was bored through.
He explained that the boring option was chosen to get the pipes to the other side of the river and highway because it would save between $100,000 and $200,000 on the $1.3 million line replacement project. The money saved will be put toward water-loss reduction projects in East Side.
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