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Lots of disruption before end of pipes

Construction begins on 62nd Avenue NE to repair the reclaimed water system. First Street N will also be affected.

By WAVENEY ANN MOORE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 4, 2002

ST. PETERSBURG -- Travelers along 62nd Avenue NE and parts of First Street N may want to consider a detour in coming months.

Work has begun on a $2.5-million construction project that officials say will alleviate low pressure and disruption of the city's reclaimed water system. The project is expected to be complete in July 2003.

During that time, one lane will be open for traffic in each direction along the construction route -- right now that's 62nd Avenue near the Mangrove Bay Golf Course -- which already is a partial tangle of gray 36-inch-diameter concrete pipes and orange and white barricades.

A letter to nearby residents cautioned that minor disruptions "are inevitable" and that the work schedule "is subject to change based on weather and unforeseen conditions."

The letter, signed by engineering, stormwater and transportation director Mike Connors, also said that the contractor, Kenko Inc., will give residents seven to 10 days' notice before starting work in their area.

"The project is being undertaken to eliminate an ongoing rupturing of the reclaimed water transmission main," Connors said during an interview Tuesday.

He added that the work will stem costly repairs and ensure reliable reclaimed water service.

"The existing pipe has experienced numerous breaks and or ruptures over the past 10 years and may have been produced by the manufacturer that provided defective pipe throughout the country approximately 25 to 30 years ago," he said.

"The project scope of work is to replace the 11,000 linear feet of existing 36-inch reclaimed water main."

Along 62nd Avenue NE, work has started in the westbound curb lane in front of the Northeast Water Reclamation Plant, at 1160 62nd Ave. NE. Construction will continue west, veering into the middle of 62nd Avenue and then back to the curb. The project will then continue north on First Street N to about 100 feet past 74 Avenue N, where it will tie into an existing main.

The 62nd Avenue phase of the project is projected to be complete in April, with work on First Street scheduled to finish in July.

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