Water Main Improvement — Interim Progress Report

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Our section of Kansas City is going through a “small water main improvement project.” Apparently our section of the city is the last part of the Northland to go through it — the process starting about 10 years ago, and our section will get done over the next year.

The process started in August, and they came to us in October/November. The crew of the private contractor hired by the city is doing a good job. When they came down our street they kept disruption to a minimum.  They were very sensitive to watching for people coming and going, and getting us in and out of our driveways.

I learned that though they have the pipes all laid down our street, they haven’t switched us over to the new mains — which explains why we haven’t had any water disruptions yet. They will get a large section done, then switch them all over at once. I assume they will have to go house to house to switch each connection at that time, but I didn’t actually ask that question when conversing with the workmen.

That said, there have been a couple of odd things about the process. The drainage ditch in front of our house pre-main dig was concrete lined, though years of heaving from freezing had thrown it up and down and broken it in many places. The first guy I talked to said the ditch would be put back the way it was.

The second guy, however, talked about how much better it would be, as they shaped the dirt in it to not be so deep and then sprayed that green spray on it (we were told it was some sort of fast-grow grass formula — though only heaven knows how much grass will actually grow in November before winter comes).

Of course, within two days we had a major rainfall, and much of it slid downhill toward the pipe underneath the driveway. If they hadn’t come by put canvas walls in front of the pipe, it would probably be completely plugged by now.

After that, of course, the leaves fell.  I always rake them out of the ditch and put them on the flowerbeds that is the front slope of my lawn (45 degree angle slope) to mulch the flowers in for winter. So I did that last Saturday, and was going to rake it again today.Yesterday, however, the crew came by again yesterday and sprayed more of that green stuff — onto the leaves I was going to rake.

So, do I rake, or don’t I rake? And will I get a concrete ditch, or will I have to do it myself if I want it restored?

Another point, our driveway is oil and stone, and was paved all the way to the asphalt street.  Right now it is a pile of gravel for about 3 feet where the pipe went through. Neighbors who had concrete driveways currently have a poured concrete roof over the pipe and an asphalt topping for their driveways.  I don’t know if they are going to do anything else to fix our driveway, and if so, when?