By Joel Hall
The City of Jonesboro is currently undergoing a major water-main-lining project, coordinated by the Clayton County Water Authority (CCWA).
For three weeks, starting Jan. 26, the project will divert traffic to, and from, the Historic Clayton County Courthouse.
"We normally don't have to reroute traffic for this type of work, but the water main is in the middle of McDonough Street, and this allows us to provide safer working conditions for the crews," said Herbert Etheridge, water authority distribution and construction manager.
Two weeks from now, between the hours of 7:30 a.m., and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, only southbound traffic will be allowed to travel on McDonough Street, between Johnson Street (near the Confederate Cemetery) and Courthouse Way.
"We want to make sure that people know ahead of time, if you are traveling from Stockbridge Road, you wouldn't be able to turn right [onto McDonough Street]. It's mostly during the workday, so, hopefully, it won't impact work traffic," said Suzanne Brown, the water authority's public information officer.
The work on McDonough Street is one part of a 12-week project to replace the city's aging water pipes, Brown said. Iron pipes were installed in the 1950s without a cement lining. They will be cleaned and lined with cement rather than replaced. She said the method will extend the life of the pipes by at least 75 years, at 40 percent of the cost of installing brand new pipe.
"By doing this type of maintenance, not only does it improve the quality of the water we get to the customers, but it also improves the integrity of the pipe," Brown said. "The only other option is to replace the pipe, but what we are doing is a lot less expensive."
Brown said the total cost of the project would be approximately $300,000, or $28.50 per foot of pipe.
Etheridge explained that lining the pipes with cement will prevent iron and manganese in the water from binding to the pipes and creating problems.
"The water that we produce contains naturally-occurring minerals that will separate from the water and attach to the bare metal, and form deposits," said Etheridge. "In addition to becoming dislodged and causing discoloration, these deposits also restrict flow capacity and reduce pressure.
"Cleaning and lining these water mains will significantly improve water quality for these customers," he added.
The project, which began this month, will include work on Jonesboro Road from the Highway 138 Spur to Main Street; Johnson Street, Irvin Street, Watterson Street, Roberts Street, Wallis Street, and Royston Street. For more information, visit www.ccwa.us.