Overnight work continues on aging sewer lines downtown

Ensuring current sewer lines are operating for the next few decades
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 9:31 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The final step of the ongoing project downtown: working to replace aging sewer lines. This project is expected to take around two weeks and is being completed overnight to minimize impact on downtown residents and businesses.

If you’ve driven through downtown Lake Charles recently, you’ve probably noticed markings on the streets. Those markings are acting as a “road map” as workers rehabilitate underground sewer pipes in the city.

Lake Charles City Administrator John Cardone explains the process they are working on.

“Basically, you’re going in there and you’re lining our sewer lines. We have a lot of aged lines downtown and throughout the city,” Cardone said.

This work is the next step in rebuilding downtown Lake Charles. This process is called cured-in-place piping (CIPP) and is a less invasive way of replacing the pipes.

“They actually go in the sewer manhole, and they run a material through it - it’s kinda like a sock - then they inflate it, it blows up, a resin hardens around it, and it really, actually, rebuilds the sewer pipes,” Cardone said.

The work is being done from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., to minimize impact to residents, businesses and motorists during the day. Since the project is minimally invasive, it shouldn’t be too disturbing while the work is being done.

“You’re not having to dig up existing piping and start replacing the entire roadway. So, this is, probably, the easiest method, most efficient method - especially in high-traffic areas,” Cardone said.

There will be flagmen and barricades set up while the work is being completed, but as people navigate downtown, it’s important to remember to be mindful of the workers.

“Beware of what’s taking place downtown - take caution,” Cardone said.

The current lines are at least 50 years old, and over time, the lines can acquire leaks from tree roots or other causes.

“Those leaks get into our sewer system, and it creates a lot of issues when you’re trying to treat your wastewater,” Cardone said.

This work is helping ensure the pipes can continue operating properly for the next 50 years.

“Each year we budget money, and we try to either re-line or burst those pipes open to try to make sure we get additional life out of them,” Cardone said.

This downtown construction had been taking place for around eight months, and this part of the project should be completed around December 15, weather permitting.

The scope of work includes rehabilitation of existing underground sewer pipes, and impacted areas may experience single lane closures, increased truck traffic and moderate noise levels during the dates noted below.

Weather permitting, work is scheduled to be completed as follows:

· Monday, November 29, 2021, Kirby Street (Between Bilbo and Ryan Streets)

· Tuesday, November 30, 2021, Broad Street (Between Lakeshore Drive and Ryan Street)

· Wednesday, December 1, 2021, Bilbo Street (Between Broad and Division Streets)

· Thursday, December 2, 2021, Broad Street to Division Street (Rear lot line)

· Friday, December 3, 2021, Division Street to West Mill Street

· Monday, December 6, 2021, West Mill Street (Between Bilbo and Ryan Streets)

· Tuesday, December 7, 2021, Division Street (Between Ryan Street and Lakeshore Drive)

· Wednesday, December 8, 2021, West Mill Street (Between Ryan and Ann Streets)

· Thursday, December 9, 2021, Pine Street (Between Bilbo and Ryan Streets)

· Friday, December 10, West Pryce Street to Belden Street (Rear lot line)

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