Water project to affect downtown traffic until 2012

File picture of construction on North Main Street.
File picture of construction on North Main Street.

By Jack Kuenzie - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A public meeting on a major Columbia water main project is underway to improve fire protection services and water quality. Much of the work will be taking place along Gervais Street, and will cause traffic issues for most of 2011.

The City of Columbia will be rehabilitating water mains and customer service lines along approximately three miles of Gervais Street from Huger Street to Trenholm Road until 2012.  The project will start in the Congaree Vista around January 24, with work starting in two different locations near Pulaski and Bull streets.

City officials say the $7.5 million project is needed because many of the city's water pipes date back to the early 1900s and are in need of cleaning and restoring.

If there's anyone in the Vista that knows the value of water, it's Guy Jones. His River Runner Outdoor Center on Gervais depends on good water, so he's not too worried about the water line work that could soon tear up the street in front of his business.

The project includes installation of temporary water lines on the surface of the road and then digging down to the main water pipe below ground. Once at the water main, crews will cut the pipes, clean the out debris and install cement liners.

Crews will be digging holes at every intersection and in various places along Gervais Street and several side streets.

The project means deep holes in the roadways, steel plates and construction crews on the job from 9:00am to 4:00pm. The city has not approved any street closures, but officials say lane closures and bottlenecks can be expected throughout most of 2011.

The city says the project will help to improve fire protection and water quality. Officials say similar projects have been completed along Bull Street, Elmwood Avenue and Huger Street in the past several years.

The project is scheduled to be completed by March 2012.

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