Company given 45 days to repair drains

Published 10:05 pm Monday, October 12, 2015

Work to repair collapsing storm drains at the intersection of Water Avenue and Lauderdale Street required the Bienville Monument to be moved Monday.

Work to repair collapsing storm drains at the intersection of Water Avenue and Lauderdale Street required the Bienville Monument to be moved Monday.

Work to replace a deteriorating 100-year-old clay pipe that has been the culprit of numerous cave-ins on Lauderdale Street over the last year started Monday morning.

According to Ray Hogg, the city’s engineering consultant, REV Construction Company started bringing in material for the project last week and got to work early Monday by cutting the street, preparing it to be dug up and moving the Bienville Monument.

“They have to saw cut the asphalt because there is a layer of asphalt and under that there is a layer of concrete, and in order for when they’re digging it up to make sure that we have nice smooth edges, they have to saw cut,” Hogg said. “It’s a pretty standard procedure.”

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Hogg said once the street is cut, REV can start digging it up, which he expects to start Tuesday.

Hogg said the entire project, which stretches a couple of blocks from the monument to the alley across from the Dallas County Courthouse, is expected to take 45 days to complete barring any delays.

“We’re in some of the best weather time of the year to work. It just doesn’t seem to rain that much in the fall,” Hogg said.

“They’ve got 45 days to complete the project, and hopefully it doesn’t take that long, but you never know because they may encounter something no one knew was underground. That happens from time to time, although we think we know what’s under there because we put a video camera in the pipe and ran it up all the way to Selma Avenue.”

Hogg estimated the cuts REV Construction made in the street Monday to be between 10-12 feet wide, and he expects them to dig between 12-13 feet deep to get to the brittle century old pipe.

“When we put the camera in there, that pipe is just seriously deteriorated. It’s cracked, its got holes in it, and quite frankly they were going to build to cave-ins soon had the city not decided to go ahead and fix it,” Hogg said.

“I know there was going to be some more [cave-ins]. It was just a matter of time. As we put the camera in there, we could see holes and there were several cavities under that street.”

Hogg said the pipe is unlike any other he has ever seen.

“I’ve never seen oval pipe. I’ve seen what we call arched pipe, but this isn’t arched,” Hogg said. “This is oval, and it is clay. I would say it probably predates 1900 … and that is just a guess.”

Hogg said the project will be completed section by section to minimize traffic disruption.

“We’re going to try to work with everybody to make sure we minimize the disruption of traffic flow,” Hogg said.

Hogg said replacing the pipe and redoing the street should eliminate the problem.

Work on Broad Street near Tabernacle Baptist Church is expected to be completed this week. Hogg said the pipe has been installed and the construction company just has to put asphalt down to repair the road and clean up the site before it is reopened.