Design work approved for 2020 water main upgrades

 In City Projects, Featured News, General News, Public Works News, Water

The City’s 2020 Capital Improvement Plan includes $500,000 budgeted for water main replacements throughout the community. Following a 5-0 vote at the 12/16/19 City Commission meeting design work on that project will now begin with construction expected to follow sometime in the spring.

The City of Atchison has approximately 100 miles of water mains throughout the distribution system with an average age of about 75 years. Water main age is only one factor to consider when selecting specific segments for replacement. For example, cast iron pipes installed in the late 1800’s have proven life cycles that far exceed 100 years in many cases, whereas metallic pipes installed post World War II have life cycles that can often be far less than 75 years.

Since 2014, five blocks of water mains have been replaced. These projects were initiated to address segments with: (a) high incidents of breaks; (b) undersized pipes that cause performance issues for customers and for fire protection; (c) dead end mains that contribute to water quality degradation, etc.

To make progress on water infrastructure, it is necessary to accelerate the water main replacement schedule from previous norms. If the City were to continue to replace one 500’ block of water main annually it would take approximately 1,000 years to go through a complete replacement cycle, which is obviously an unacceptable level of service.

The scope of work for this project is engineering design services for approximately 4,100’ of water main replacement. Staff expects design work to last 60-90 days with construction to follow in spring of 2020. Eight city blocks are included in this project scope:

  • Sunset Place (Guthrie Circle to Kearney Street)
  • Guthrie Circle (N. 12th Street to the west approx. 400 ft.)
  • Santa Fe Street (15th Street to 17th Street)
  • Kansas Avenue (15th Street to 16th Street)
  • Alley between Commercial and Kansas (14th Street to 15th Street)
  • Harper Drive (K-7 to Maple Street)

Segments were selected because of the condition issues previously identified and how they interrelate to other improvements, specifically the 2020 mill and overlay program and Phase II of the Dam 6 Sewer Separation Project. All segments selected are undersized metallic pipes installed in post World War II developments.

Lawrence based BG Consultants was awarded the $31,000 design contract.