UNION — Service was restored to a section of Duncan Bypass Thursday morning after utility crews spent approximately seven hours Wednesday night replacing two valves on a water line running beneath the Rice Avenue intersection.
Earlier this week, personnel from Boulware Plumbing & Construction broke up the asphalt over two sections of the intersection and placed steel plates over the holes. The holes were opened up to give utility crews access to the water line running beneath the intersection so they could replace two 16-inch valves.
City of Union Utility Director Joe Nichols said Tuesday that the water line is part of the city’s main water distribution system and that the replacement of those valves was part of an ongoing project to replace the existing valves on the system with new ones. The project has been under way for the past two months and involves the replacement of a total of 16 16-inch values.
Replacing the valves, however, required shutting off the water to that section of the system. That section of the system serves an area running along Duncan Bypass from Harwood Heights to the old Rotary recycling center. Shutting off that section of the system, however, meant that the customers served by that part of the system would be without water until the valves were replaced and service restored.
Nichols said that to minimize any inconvenience to those customers, the replacement of the valves would begin late Wednesday night. This was why the holes were dug during the day and the steel plates placed over them until the replacement could get under way.
On Thursday, Nichols said that the water was turned off to that section of the system at 10 p.m. Wednesday and the crews got to work replacing the valves. He said the old valves were removed and the new ones put in place within seven hours and water service restored to that section of the system at 5 a.m. Thursday.
The steel plates were put back in place and will remain there until the holes can be repaired and repaved with new asphalt. Nichols said plans are for the repair and repaving to take place next week. He added that those plans include repairing and repaving the other areas where holes were dug in the road for valve replacement.
Nichols said that the next valve replacement will be at the intersection of Harwood Heights and Duncan Bypass. He said he expects that to take place no later than the week after next.