LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington is beginning work on replacing two miles of sanitary sewer line between Oliver Lewis Way and Tates Creek Road, which will impact traffic.
City officials say the project runs along Euclid Avenue through the University of Kentucky campus, and the Chevy Chase business district.
They say this two-year project will cost $10.93 million, and is part of the city’s obligations under the court-ordered consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency to improve Lexington’s sanitary sewers.
“We have looked at multiple options over the course of the last two years because it’s obvious to everyone that this project will be hugely disruptive,” said Charles Martin, director of the Division of Water Quality. “Construction in urban areas is always hard, and for an area as densely populated as the streets around campus, options are very limited. We believe that what we’re about to do is the least disruptive, viable option.
Officials say one lane of Winslow Avenue, which runs one-way between South Limestone and South Upper Street, was closed in late January for work related to the University of Kentucky’s parking structure.
It will remain closed for staging and construction of the sewer pipe.
It is anticipated that the sewer construction will keep one lane of Winslow closed for three months, according to city officials.
Boring on Winslow is expected to begin February 17 with sewer pipes going in the ground starting February 24.
The weekend of March 14 and 15, a new manhole will be installed in South Upper Street and 40 feet of pipe will be laid to connect the manhole to the Winslow sewer.
Upper will be closed at Winslow and Winslow will be closed from Jersey to Upper starting at 7 p.m. Friday, March 13 and will reopen no later than 6 a.m. Monday, March 16.
If the project isn’t completed over the weekend, nightly shutdowns will be scheduled to allow for completion of the project.
As Lexington proceeds with sanitary sewer construction, Kentucky Utilities and the University of Kentucky will move forward on projects in the same area to minimize overall disruption to campus and commuters, according to officials.
A second sewer crew is also beginning work on a sewer pipe installation running from Patterson Street to South Broadway this week.
This segment of the project will have limited traffic impacts on Chair Avenue and Emmaline Lane.
They say the second crew is expected to complete the Patterson/Broadway segment this winter, and bore under South Broadway in the spring.
South Broadway will remain open.
During the summer and fall of 2020, the project will move along Bolivar to Upper Street and then connect to the pipes laid along Winslow Avenue.
Over the summer, the sewer project will also move on to Avenue of Champions until the end of 2020.
City officials say at that point, construction will proceed down Euclid, all the way to project completion in early 2022 at the Tates Creek Road intersection.
The original sanitary sewer was built in 1934 and is in disrepair, with defects and leaks that are difficult to reach.
The pipe runs under many buildings, including the UK College of Fine Arts Building.
Because the sewer is inaccessible in its current location, the new line is being laid in the street for easier access in case of repairs or other issues, according to the city.
While this sanitary sewer project will be disruptive in the short-term, it will improve Lexington’s water quality down the road.
“Over the next two years, we’ll need to keep reminding ourselves that this project is a short-term problem that provides a tremendous long-term community benefit,” Martin said.