(PLATTSBURGH- November 7th, 2022) - Since work on replacing the asbestos water mains began on Wednesday July 6th, 2022 (71 work days), over 20,000 feet of new water main and 107 new water service lines have been installed.
On May 14th 2022, the former Air Force base property within the City of Plattsburgh experienced a catastrophic failure of the very aged asbestos cement water distribution system. On that day, the City experienced twelve water main breaks over the course of twenty-four hours that impacted upwards of 450 households (roughly 2000 residents). For several days following, these families were on boil water notices and several remained on emergency water until their service could be fully restored. At the time of failure residents were able to obtain water, but the system was in such a fragile state, that the City needed to act quickly to replace the asbestos water lines for fear of failing again.
“Coming to realize this area of the City has been faced with these issues for years, it made zero sense to continue to take a band-aid approach to fixing what were critical issues with inherited infrastructure,” said Mayor Chris Rosenquest. “Faced with years of deferred maintenance in this and other areas throughout the City, I felt it was our obligation to do the right thing and do it with velocity for these residents.”
With the vast majority of the project complete, there are 42 water service lines, which are the direct service lines from the street to each individual household, to be switched from the old water main system to the new and replacement of select sidewalks, curbs and sod that were affected by the project.
Summary of Road Rehabilitation
Maine Road, Maryland Road, Massachusetts Street, Dakota Street, Kentucky Street, Louisiana Avenue, New York Road, Kansas Street and Iowa Circle asbestos water mains have now been retired.
Louisiana Avenue and Kansas Avenue have had a full depth replacement of water lines and the road newly paved. Kentucky Street and Iowa Circle have been milled and resurfaced. Maine Road, Maryland Road, Massachusetts Street and Dakota Street will have a mill and resurface in 2023.
Driveways that were torn out due to water line breaks or construction have been fixed for winter and will be monitored for settling throughout the winter and spring. Any issues that arise will be addressed in late spring/early summer. Areas where sidewalks were torn out have been replaced with temporary asphalt sidewalks for the winter and will be replaced next year with new concrete sidewalks.
All areas that have been affected due to construction work will be dressed with topsoil and grass seed as weather permits and will be completed in Spring 2023.
Existing fire hydrants will be removed and asbestos water mains will be pressure grouted as weather permits.
$10 million dollars was originally allocated for the project and the project will be coming in under budget. Funding for this project was allocated as bonding from the Water fund.