The thoroughfare through the heart of Huntingburg will be changing Monday.
Those changes are temporary.
As part of the Stellar Community projects, a historic water main — the contractors dated it to being installed around 1891 — will be replaced on Huntingburg’s historic Fourth Street.
The major project was listed as one of the nine projects on the city’s Stellar application and is seen as a necessary component of the continued improvement and development of the city.
“This is a unique project,” said Jon Craig, business development manager for Midwest Engineers, the consulting engineer on the project. “It is going to be very important for the city as it moves forward and works through all of its Stellar Community projects. This is foundational to the redevelopment of Fourth Street.”
Besides a planned redevelopment of the streetscape on Fourth Street, the Heritage Trail will also run through the area to connect Market Street Park to the rest of the city.
Craig said the project is 50 to 60 years overdue with the age of the existing water line.
To complete the work with the least amount of impact on the busy business district, the line will be replaced with a cured in place pipe (CIPP). Through the process, the contractors, Fer-Pal, will not be required to tear up Fourth Street to access the lines as in a traditional water line replacement project.
Fer-Pal will have six access pits spaced about 800 feet apart along the route to allow access to the waterline. Through these, workers will bore out the cast iron water line, cleaning it in preparation for it to be relined. Once this is completed, a camera will be ran through the line to provide 3-D imaging of its interior.
After imaging the line, workers will then run a new liner into the existing pipe which will then be cured in place. After it cures, the contractor will robotically reconnect the lines to businesses and residences.
Fer-Pal general manager Blaine Preston said the life of the new lining is about 50 years for a fully-deteriorated pipe. He added that in Huntingburg’s case, the existing water line will act as a protective casing for the new line.
Craig explained they had been involved in a similar project in Tell City but never one with as many connections as the Huntingburg project.
Prior to any work beginning, a temporary water line will be installed to provide water service to the affected businesses and homes. The water line will run along the edge of the street and lines will connect to the structures by running across the sidewalk.
The temporary water service will be attached through the water meter which will not be active during the process. The city plans on looking at historic water usage to determine billing for the time those buildings are not metered.
Also during the process, Fourth Street will become a one-way street running east and west from U.S. 231/Main Street.
Diagrams on how that will impact the parking and traffic flow are below.
The work is scheduled to take place over eight weeks but Fer-Pal and Midwestern Engineers expects to be finished in six weeks.
The project will cost $694,445 but the CIPP process was the least disruptive of the options available to the city. According to Water Superintendent Gregg Miller, tearing up the street and working with all the connections would have been a “nightmare.”
“The city was able to save a lot of money on this by doing a lot of the work themselves as far as handling traffic and signage, also with backfill and paving,” Craig said.
The infrastructure update will precede the upcoming streetscape work planned for the area however, Market Street Park is the next large project planned for Huntingburg this year.