TOPEKA (KSNT) – You might have noticed some construction on your way to or from work on Monday.
That’s because work began to put in new water mains on 10th and SW Gage Blvd. It’s a project that is very much needed according to city officials, but one that’s already causing a headache for the community.
“Everybody’s gonna have to have a lot of patience,” Topeka resident Joanne Proctor said.
Over the last five years, the city has experienced many water breaks causing disruption to businesses and traffic. Now the city is replacing the old cast iron line with approximately 2,600 linear feet of new water lines.
“We have deferred maintenance on all of our water mains,” Topeka Utilities Deputy Director, Nicole Malott said. “These mains, most of them, the majority of them were installed in the 30’s and 40’s. So we’re looking at water mains that are 80 to 90 years old. It’s just not reliable. We’re facing more breaks, we’re facing more disruption and this will be a better quality of service for everyone.”
While the city has an end goal of a better tomorrow, the present-day project is making it difficult for Proctor and her neighbors. She’s already had to reroute her commute back home after picking up dinner.
“I couldn’t get back into our driveway without going up to Fleming Place,” Proctor said. “Going one way and out the other, then coming back on 10th street so I could get into our driveway.”
And it’s not just a trip to pick up food that will cause Proctor to reroute her commute.
“I volunteer at the library,” Proctor said. “But that’s the right direction, just coming back I will have to go north to come back around.”
While the project is currently in phase one, people can expect full closure of 10th street south of Gage for the next three weeks.
“After phase one, we will maintain two-way traffic at all times either in the northbound lanes or the southbound lanes,” Malott said. “Phase two will be from 10th street to Sena, and phase three then same, alternating from North or South maintaining two-way traffic, from Sena to Huntoon to finish the project.”