Road closures ahead!

Published 4:59 pm Friday, April 28, 2023

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MURFREESBORO – Drivers in Murfreesboro may need to be prepared for a few temporary road closures beginning in May.

That’s when the town’s sewer rehabilitation project is scheduled to get underway.

Town Administrator Carolyn Brown made the announcement at the regular Town Council meeting held on April 26.

“The majority of it is High Street and Second Street and Vance Street. That’s where our worst problem is right now,” she explained.

Hart Street will also be included in the scope of the project.

“I just wanted everyone to be aware there is going to be some street closures, periodically,” she continued.

Mayor Hal Thomas asked if she knew how long the project was expected to last, but Brown did not have that information available.

As previously reported by the News Herald, Murfreesboro used state grant funding to conduct an Asset Inventory and Assessment (AIA) of the town’s sewer system in 2019. That assessment revealed that much of the aging sewer system lines were in poor condition. Many of the old pipes, for example, were made of brittle terracotta clay.

Based on the AIA results, the town was awarded a $1.7 million loan from the NC Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Infrastructure to replace the worst parts of the sewer lines. The town will be forgiven $500,000 of those funds, and have to pay back the rest at 2 percent interest.

The pandemic, however, delayed the project from getting started. The town’s first attempt to secure contractor bids was unsuccessful, and the price of materials increased during that time as well.

In December 2022, the Town Council approved awarding the contract to Ralph Hodge Construction Co, the lowest bid received during a second attempt for bids. They also approved using ARP (American Rescue Plan) funds to cover the project’s cost overrun.

The total cost is expected to equal a little over $2.1 million.

The sewer project includes replacing a few thousand linear feet of 6-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch pipes, and rehabilitation of less than 2,000 linear feet of 8-inch and 12-inch pipes as well as 26 manholes.