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DPW to replace 300 feet of water main

Infrastructure from 1890s was responsible for February flood

BRATTLEBORO—The Department of Public Works will replace approximately 300 feet of water main between 133 Main St. and the intersection of High Street.

The repairs are in response to a mini flood that happened on Main Street after a sprinkler line valve into the Paramount Building on 167 Main St. broke on Feb. 5.

DPW Director Steve Barrett said upgrading the water main is a proactive step towards repairing the town’s older infrastructure.

The project schedule is “aggressive,” said Barrett, noting that the work must wrap before the Strolling of the Heifers annual events start June 7.

Barrett said he will have a better idea about the project’s costs after his department opens bids on Thursday, April 4. Funding for the project will come from water and sewer fees.

More valves from the 1800s

According to Barrett, during the flood this winter, 160,000 gallons of water flowed into the basement of the Brattleboro Bicycle Shop at 165 Main St. and the basement-level offices of Strolling of the Heifers in the River Garden next door at 157 Main St.

According to Barrett, the broken sprinkler valve dates to the 1890s. Since February, staff have identified a second valve that needs replacing.

The project will include removing a section of 8-inch pipe that dates back to circa 1890 and replacing it with a 12-inch water main, Barrett said. Crews will also repair a portion of sidewalk near 167 Main St. damaged during the flood and subsequent repairs.

Barrett also said he will reach out to the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce and downtown businesses with more information about the project and its potential disruption.

“It’s going to be a challenge but it will be for a short period,” Barrett said of the project.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #504 (Wednesday, April 3, 2019). This story appeared on page A6.

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