City of Statesboro workers dug up part of Railroad Street Thursday in anticipation of future work related to the Downtown Streetscape Project.
Crews tore up a portion of Railroad Street in order to cap off an old water main that runs under the railroad tracks toward Savannah Avenue.
Van Collins, the city's assistant director of water and wastewater, said workers were terminating a water main made of sand-cast cast-iron with lead fittings and joints. When East Main Street is ground down to receive a new coat of asphalt as part of the project, the grinding process could cause vibrations that could rupture the approximately 80-year-old pipe.
“We had something similar happen a while back with another road project, so we wanted to take proactive steps to make sure that doesn't happen with this (streetscape) project,” Collins said.
Collins said city crews will cap the other end of the pipe, which is buried under Savannah Avenue near the Triangle Park, most likely in the next two weeks. Due to the heavy daytime traffic at that intersection, he said the work will be scheduled at night to accommodate drivers.
Brad Deal, assistant city engineer and streetscape project manager, said the streetscape project has been affected by the heavy rains that have hit the area in the past few weeks. In addition, as part of the agreement with streetscape contractor Y-Delta Inc., the project had a built-in break over the holiday shopping season to accommodate the downtown merchants, which is why work was suspended for about six weeks at the end of 2009.
Currently, Georgia Power is in the process of burying the electrical lines and removing the existing power poles on the north side of East Main. The project called for the removal of the poles to get rid of the overhead power lines and give the area a cleaner and more attractive appearance.
Jody Rogers, vice-president of Y-Delta Inc., said once Georgia Power is done with their work, which should be completed by the end of February, his crews will be able to finish up the work in the area currently under construction.
“We want to try and finish the area from Railroad Street to Oak Street before we move on to the section in front of the Averitt Center,” Rogers said.
As they finish the sidewalk and brick paver work along that section of East Main Street, Y-Delta will also install brick paver crosswalks across East Main Street at the Railroad Street and the eastern Oak Street intersections. In addition, they will do some work on the city parking lot along Railroad Street, closing off the East Main street exit of the parking lot and putting in an entrance/exit for the parking lot, which will be accessed from Railroad Street.
Once that section is completed, the crews will move to the area between Siebald and Oak Street and put in new curbing, sidewalks and pavers as well as paver crosswalks across East Main Street at the Siebald and western Oak Street intersections. Then workers will move to the Main Street intersection in front of the Bulloch County courthouse and install four brand-new corners, complete with new curbs, Americans with Disabilities Act compliant pavers and four crosswalks.
Once all the curbing and paver work is complete, Y-Delta will re-pave the entire section of East Main, to be followed by the striping and landscaping. Deal said he is in the process of adjusting the anticipated completion date because of the weather delay, but still thinks the project will be completed by the end of May or early June, barring any more significant extreme weather.
Phil Boyum may be reached at (912) 489-9454.