Beginning in October of 2018, Main Street's water distribution lines will be replaced from Houston Street to Maiden Lane. The project will last about one year and will cause one lane of traffic to be closed in a one-block span during weekday work hours. The City is excited about this opportunity to improve historic downtown Lexington, invest in positive economic activity, and provide better water supply and overall hydraulic performance for residents and businesses.
See below for Frequently Asked Questions.
FAQ: Main Street Waterline Replacement Project
What is the Main Street Waterline Replacement Project?
This project will replace the aged 6, 8, and 10-foot water distribution lines under Main Street from Houston Street to Maiden Lane (just north of Massie Street), including new connections to intersecting street water mains, new fire hydrants, and new service connections. Additionally, the project will replace the waterlines under East Nelson Street and East Washington Street from Main Street to Randolph Street.The City is excited about this opportunity to improve historic downtown Lexington. The design and service life of much of this infrastructure has long expired – some of the pipes are over 100 years old! Replacing this infrastructure will improve water supply quality and overall system hydraulic performance, and positively impact economic development in the downtown area.
What is the construction schedule?
Construction is anticipated to start in mid-October of 2018 and last about one year. The schedule may vary depending on the weather, delivery of materials and equipment, or unforeseen issues such as utility conflicts and archeological or historical findings. Construction hours will be Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with workers beginning to mobilize around 7:00 a.m. During the weekends, a firm riding surface will be restored and construction equipment will vacate the area.
How will the progression of work go?
It is anticipated that the contractor, Randy Hostetter Excavating, LLC, will install the new Main Street waterline with the direction of traffic starting at Houston Street and ending at Maiden Lane. The new line will lay in the left-hand drive lane from Houston Street to Henry Street. Then, from Henry Street to Maiden Lane, the new line will transition to the right-hand drive lane.
The contract prohibits the contractor from having any more than 200 linear feet of trench open at one time. Trenches will be backfilled, patched, and then opened to traffic at the end of each day’s production. Citizens and businesses should expect trenching operations to advance for a block or two. Then, the contractor will test the new line (through pressure and bacteriological testing). If test results are satisfactory, customer water services will be transferred to the new main. This process will then repeat on the next block.
Will the construction be loud?
There will be significant construction noise, including the beeping of trucks as well as the sounds of milling and banging of the equipment and ground materials. All noise will subside outside of working hours.
How much is the project going to cost? Where is the money coming from?
The project will cost an estimated $1,895,507, and the City is set to borrow funds from Virginia Resources Authority to cover the total amount.
How will construction affect my business?
The City’s contractor will work very hard to minimize inconveniences to businesses due to construction. The City will work with downtown merchants to have alternate plans in place prior to construction and to make sure that merchants and patrons are given notice of when and where construction will take place. Businesses and residents will receive construction information through public meetings, door-to-door visits, small group and organizational meetings, news media, social media, and the City website.
Traffic and Parking Impacts
One lane of traffic on Main Street will be maintained at all times. The driving lane impacted by trenching operations and adjoining parallel parking zones will be closed to traffic. Although trench operations may progress down Main Street at 60 to 200 lineal feet per day, lane closures required to establish a safe work zone per the Virginia Work Area Protection Manual may impact 600 to 800 lineal feet of roadway at any given time.
Will I always have access to my business or residence?
As construction progresses, the project team will work closely with business owners to address concerns about access. Business access signs will direct motorists to temporary businesses entrances.
The majority of construction will occur in the street; however, new hydrant installation and connection of customer services will impact downtown sidewalks at select locations. In these areas, pedestrians may be detoured around the immediate work zone.
Long Term Parking
If you currently have parking in a designated area that will be in a construction zone, the City will work with you to find another temporary parking option. Please call Special Enforcement Officer Loran Dreelin for more information about long-term parking at 540-462-3748.
What about City events?
The project team will work closely with downtown event organizers for the duration of the project. Most annual events will have the ability to occur with little to no changes. If you are planning an event in the downtown area, please contact Meredith Warfield at 540-462-3704 or firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate your event with the downtown construction.
How will loading and unloading work?
Businesses with material loading or unloading needs that may be impacted by the project are requested to contact Jeff Martone at 540-463-3154 or email@example.com. The City will make every effort to find alternate locations or work with the contractor to accommodate business loading and unloading schedules, if possible.
Will bus routes be affected?
No. Bus stops will remain and they will continue to use their designated passenger loading zones.
Will emergency vehicles have adequate access?
Yes. Emergency vehicles still take priority over other vehicles traveling downtown and the rules of the road still apply. Drivers must yield to police and fire and move to the right.
Planned Water Shut Off
Will our utilities be shut off during the construction?
Water service interruptions are unavoidable; however, they should be brief in nature (about 1 hour). The City and the contractor will make every effort to provide timely notification to all those who may be impacted by a water outage, which should only occur when transferring individual services from the old waterline to the new waterline. Should longer outages be required, temporary above ground services shall be provided.
Un-planned Utility Outages
The contractor is required to call Miss Utility of Virginia prior to commencing operations; however, please remember that downtown Lexington dates back to the 18th century. There may be undocumented active utilities that could potentially be damaged during construction. The City and contractor will work with all utility owners to ensure these items are located as accurately as possible. Should incidents occur, utility owners will be notified promptly to expedite repair and ensure outages are kept to a minimum.
Who can I contact to get information about the Downtown Waterline Replacement Project?
For more information about the project, please contact Jeff Martone, City of Lexington Public Works Director, at 540-463-3154 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I learn about other City projects?
Check out the City of Lexington Projects web page, or contact Public Works at 540-463-3154.