WATERVILLE — The Kennebec Water District has announced it will begin updating a series of water mains next week in downtown Waterville.

The project is scheduled to begin Monday and replace a 1-mile stretch of old, cast iron mains, installed in 1905 or earlier, with modern, cement-lined iron pipes that are estimated to last about 100 years.

Replacing the water mains is a way for Waterville to improve its economic vitality and livability, according to Jeff Earickson, president of the Kennebec Water District’s board of trustees.

“This is an exciting and important project for KWD,” Earickson said in a prepared statement. “The existing water lines serving Main Street are the original pipes installed when water service was first provided to Main Street over 100 years ago.

“It is time to modernize our system and reduce the likelihood of a water main break disrupting this busy area. This will result in better service for our customers and community for the next 100 years.”

Roadways affected by the project include Main Street, Front Street, Appleton Street, Temple Street, Common Street, Hathaway Street, Leighton Street and Deeb Street, according to KWD officials.

During construction, temporary interruptions or disturbances will occur, including traffic delays, dust, noise, moderate vibration, water service disruptions and uneven road surfaces.

To reduce the impact of these disturbances, workers will water and sweep the roadways to minimize dust, pave trench excavations weekly, perform limited and brief road and water shutdowns, provide continuous access to all businesses and minimize planned night work, according to KWD.

The water district has awarded Ranger Contracting Inc. of Fairfield a $2.7 million contract for the project. Wright-Pierce Engineers of Topsham was hired to complete designs for the project and provide construction administration and project inspection services.

The project will be financed by Maine’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which includes a grant of more than $700,000 and an anticipated loan interest rate of 1%.

The water rate is not expected to increase for Kennebec Water District customers due to the retirement of previous debt, according to KWD officials.

Construction is expected to occur  from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the project is expected to be finished by November.

The Kennebec Water District serves residents and businesses in Waterville, Winslow, Fairfield, Benton and Vassalboro.

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