Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 20, 2012

Princeton Avenue project should improve water quality for residents, businesses

BLUEFIELD — Residents and businesses in downtown Bluefield should see improved water service due to an infrastructure investment project currently underway on Princeton Avenue.

Laura Jordan, external affairs manager with West Virginia American Water, said the $120,000 project in downtown Bluefield will replace a water main installed in the 1930s.

“We are presently working on a project in Bluefield on Princeton Avenue from Monroe Street to Bland Street,” Jordan said. “We are working there to replace a water main. We are putting in 1,700 feet of 8-inch water main and replacing the old cast iron water main that was installed in the 1930s. This is just an infrastructure investment project to remove aging infrastructure. We expect the project to be completed by August.”

Jordan said the goal of the project is to provide more reliable water service in the area.

“Basically, the benefit to the customers, besides the replacement of older infrastructure, is the increased water flow for the entire downtown Bluefield area,” Jordan said. “The larger pipes will increase fire flow downtown and the availability of water in case of a fire. The water service will be more reliable. We want to lessen the likelihood of water main breaks by replacing infrastructure that has reached the end of its usefulness.”

Jordan said disruptions during the project should be minimal.

“Any service interruptions during the project should be very temporary, and we will give customers notification of any service disruption,” she said. “We may have to close one lane on certain roads, but we will not be closing any roads completely during the course of the project.”

Crews are also working on a $100,000 water project in the New Hope Road area near Princeton to replace a water main from the 1940s, Jordan said.

“We have another project on New Hope Road in Princeton as well,” she said. “It is a $100,000 project and will go from Morrison Drive to Guard Drive on New Hope Road. It is a 2,200 foot project. We will be replacing 4-inch water main from the 1940s with newer 8-inch water main. We will be putting in new fire hydrants as well. This project is on the same time line as the Bluefield project.”

Jordan said the two Mercer County projects are part of statewide infrastructure investments the company is making.

“We have water main replacement projects going on in every major district across the state,” she said. “It is important to make this capital investment across the state. This is something we do as part of our commitment to maintaining high quality and reliable water service for our customers.”

Interim City Manager and Bluefield City Attorney Brian Cochran said the work being done on city water lines is just one of the infrastructure projects taking place in the city of Bluefield.

“The West Virginia American Water is replacing a lot of the lines throughout the town,” Cochran said. “American Electric Power is getting ready to spend $4 million to $6 million in repairs to the lines in town during the next couple of years. The water company is addressing some older issues they have had scheduled for some time. They are mainly working in the downtown area right now. ”

Cochran said improved infrastructure benefits both businesses and residents in the city.

“It is good for everyone,” he said. “All of the residents should see some benefits from these projects. AEP has plans for projects all over the city in the next several years. The utility companies are making some improvements and investments in the city.”

— Contact Kate Coil at

kcoil@bdtonline.com

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