The six-inch water main that supplies residents in a subdivision north of Colchester and others near Lake Argyle is in need of repair. It lays across the supporting structure under a bridge on North Coal Street. The line is sagging 14 inches at two different joints, one of which is leaking.
The city will pay $7,000 for a short-term fix. Tharp Brothers of Oquawka will shore up the line within the next 10 days.
The city won't know the condition of the line until that work is completed. The location makes inspection difficult. The pipe is also covered in insulation.
Mayor Danny Bice says replacing the line would be a major undertaking and expense.
He says, “If we have to replace it we have to replace it from one side of the bridge to the other side so you've got 120-foot there that's free-standing.”
The engineering firm Benton and Associates estimates that could cost $70,000.
Bice also says the Illinois Department of Transportation would be involved in the replacement, once a the firm draws up a design.
He says, “They (IDOT) have to approve it and come and inspect to make sure that the bridge is stable enough. And then we can do a permanent fix on it.”