CLARKSBURG -- Anyone driving on West Pike Street these last couple of weeks can't help but notice the temporary paving and steel plates covering the recently replaced water main.
But motorists take heart. The bone-jarring, teeth-rattling trip through downtown won't last forever. Once the project is completed, the entire area is scheduled to be completely repaved, said Clarksburg Water Board General Manager Dick Welch.
The repaving was included in the project bid, he said, and will be subcontracted out to J.F. Allen.
"The citizens shouldn't be concerned about the road," Welch said. "We're trying to make it better by putting black top down. I realize the temporary patch is a little rough, but it's better than having gravel in the ditch."
The project is moving along quite nicely, Welch said. At this point, the contractor has installed all the water main and now is working on tie-ins to buildings and intersections along Pike Street.
The project, which began June 1, was awarded to Hull's Contracting Inc. of French Creek for $577,575.
It involves replacing 12-inch, 8-inch and 6-inch water lines along West Pike Street, including new water valves, meter settings, service lines, fire hydrants and sidewalk repair, as well as the street paving.
Bids came in more than $120,000 higher than expected, partly thanks to increased material costs and partly because engineering estimates were based on last year's Main Street water line replacement project.
Costs also increased because the Water Board decided to have the work done during the night, to reduce as much as possible the inconvenience to motorists, Welch said.
The total project time has been estimated at three months, he said, and is expected to be completed prior to the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival.
Because of the difficulties inherent in replacing such aged water lines, contractors on Monday had to deal with a water leak resulting from several broken valves, Welch said.
Metro Editor Jim Fisher can be reached at 626-1446 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org