Community Environment

Louisville Water Company has started the second phase in replacing a critical water main.

The water main, built in 1923, flows under Eastern Parkway. Louisville started the $25 million Eastern Parkway Project to repair that main last year, citing three main breaks in the last five years. Those breaks flooded crowded intersections, diverted traffic and cost Louisville Water around $1.5 million.

Louisville Water Company spokeswoman Kelley Dearing Smith said pipes are normally supposed to last 100 years, so this isn’t abnormal. She said the project, which is on budget to finish repairing the 6.4 miles of pipe by April 2019, is critical to the city.

“It’s a very critical piece of our infrastructure that’s deep underground,” Dearing Smith said. “If it breaks, it can potentially be catastrophic for the city because we’re carrying millions and millions of gallons of water.”

Courtesy Louisville Water Company

Crews place the main along Eastern Pkwy using a Buckeye Traction Ditcher

Dearing Smith said that water goes to homes, businesses, schools and more.

The first phase of the project repaired sections of the main from Grinstead Drive to Beargrass Creek and Poplar Level Road. Phase two will continue that, repairing Eastern Parkway from Beargrass Creek and Poplar Level Road to Crittenden Drive and Interstate 65. That phase is expected to finish next fall.

Dearing Smith said the project will not require turning off residents’ water, but will divert traffic in the area.

Pipe infrastructure has also plagued Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District, which has hundreds of cave-ins every year. MSD estimates repairing and upgrading its infrastructure would cost up to $496 million.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.