The Covington City Council took some steps Monday to tackle some major water projects around town, including replacing 100-year-old water pipes and fixing some flooding issues in city neighborhoods.
The council approved the low construction bid of $2.56 million from Chamblee-based Fortis Engineering Solutions to replace 27,500 linear feet of water line along Monticello Street and some surrounding side streets, including Old Monticello, Pennington and Church streets. Deputy City Manager Billy Bouchillon said some of the pipes are around 100 years old, and he said other pipes are asbestos and need to be replaced.
The money will come from a $4.5 million federal, low-interest Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan, which is given out by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA).
The city will pay 0.5 percent interest on the 20-year loan, according to GEFA’s website. (An original press release said the city would pay 1.4 percent interest, but the city gets a discount for being a WaterFirst community.)
This is the first phase of a four-phase project, which will eventually replace "66,000 linear feet of deteriorating 2-inch, 4-inch and 6-inch galvanized and asbestos cement mains with new 8-inch ductile iron pipe" and replace some fire hydrants and valves, according to GEFA.
Bouchillon said Fortis will have 360 days to complete the project, and he expects the company to begin work at the end of March. He said he doesn’t anticipate any roads being closed but said there will probably be intermittent traffic control.
According to City Engineer Tres Thomas, all four phases are expected to be complete by 2017.
The council also voted Monday to pay Patrick & Associates engineering firm $12,500 to design a fix for flooding issues in The Cloister subdivision.
According to documents from Thomas, drainage issues have been ongoing since the mid-1980s, with flooding occurring in residents’ back yards.
Thomas said the project could include diverting water from Cherry Laurel Drive and replacing pipes.
The more pressing project for the city is the flooding along Gordy Street, which is affecting roads.
"During heavy rain events, like the one in January, the street and various properties are flooded. Several residents have complained," Thomas said in a city document.
A design has been prepared and the project will be bid out soon. It will include installation of paving, curb and gutters, piping, various drainage inlets and ditch improvements, according to Thomas. He said drainage from Hannah and Gordy streets will be conveyed along Newton Drive to Elizabeth Street; he said the project is estimated to cost more than $500,000.