Even though it doesn’t look like it, progress is being made at Highway 30 and Springfield Road, where a water line leak has kept the intersection pavement wet for several months.
Public Works Director Jason Ivie told The Missourian late last week that the bidding process for the repair project has started and that if all goes well, work should begin by about the middle of July.
Both Ivie and Mayor Ron Blum have said the leak has been the “hot topic” of conversation around the city since it surfaced at the beginning of the year.
“People ask me about it all the time,” Ivie said. “We are working on it. It’s just one of those things that takes time.”
Blum has mentioned the leak during several recent board of aldermen meetings and also has said that progress slowly is being made.
The pavement at the intersection has been wet for months after a water line underneath the intersection is believed to have cracked or broken in January.
The leak, which Ivie described as “minimal” and “pretty slow,” is in the 4-inch water main that runs under Highway 30. It is connected to new 10-inch lines on both sides of Springfield Road that were installed as part of that street’s major overhaul last year.
Ivie said employees from Missouri Rural Water inspected the situation in February and March and determined the problem was in the line under the highway that connects to the Springfield mains. There was some thought that the trouble was in the water line that runs along South Lay Street, but that ended up not being the case.
As part of the Springfield Road improvement project, the new, larger lines on each side of Highway 30 were connected to the old, 4-inch line that runs under the highway. The Missouri Department of Transportation would not allow the city to close that thoroughfare and tear it up to replace the water line underneath it.
That means that 10-inch water lines run along both East and West Springfield Road, but they are connected to the 4-inch main under Highway 30.
Ivie earlier said that the city probably will have to bore under Highway 30 and lay a new, 10-inch line there and connect it to the Springfield Road lines.
There are no estimates as to what the repairs may cost the city.
Originally, Ivie had said he was hopeful the project could be completed by the start of summer. He said issues with the DNR have caused some of the delays.
As it stands now, project bids are due by the end of the day on July 2. The bids will be opened at that time, and Archer-Elgin Engineering will recommend the best bid to the city.
In April, the St. Clair Board of Aldermen unanimously approved an ordinance that allowed Blum to enter into a task order with Archer for $5,304.
“This is the engineering for the road bore under Highway 30 at Springfield,” City Administrator Rick Childers told the aldermen at the time. “We’re getting everything into place to fix the leak.”
The project description reads that the task order will provide a topographic survey, design and detailed plans for construction of a utility bore and water main repair/replacement along Springfield Road and under Missouri Highways 30/47 in St. Clair.
Ivie said an ordinance should be ready on July 7 for the aldermen to review regarding Blum entering into a contract with a company to work on the project based on Archer’s recommendation.
Once the contract is signed, the company awarded the bid will have 75 calendar days to complete the work.
“If we get started in mid July, we should have thew work done by the end of September,” Ivie said. “That’s what we’re hoping for.”
Ivie said people need to remember that there is a process to go through for major projects like these, and the process takes time.
“And, sometimes that process takes longer than expected,” he said. “I think that’s been the case here.”