After four years of construction with dozens of lane closures and detours, Louisville Water Company announced the completion of the biggest water main replacement project in the company’s 160-year history. Called the “Eastern Parkway Project,” Louisville Water replaced 6.4 miles of water main that stretches along Eastern Parkway and Lexington Road, two of the city’s busiest areas. Lexington Road is now reopened to the public from Grinstead Drive to Stilz.
“Louisville Water Company has gone above and beyond to keep neighbors aware of the various stages of this massive project,” said Bill Hollander, 9th District Metro Councilman. “While road closings and detours are inconvenient, I’m glad to see proactive investments to make sure we will continue to have reliable, safe, and great tasting water in Louisville.”
The pipe, a four-foot-diameter water main, was installed in the early 1900s and sits underneath and along busy highways and thriving neighborhoods. Instead of digging up highways and removing the old pipe, Louisville Water used a technology called “slip-lining” where crews kept the old pipe in the ground and pushed a new, smaller pipe inside the original pipe. This method preserved the character of the Eastern Parkway corridor. Louisville Water also installed the new pipe without impacting water service.
The large construction phase is now finished, but Louisville Water will continue to clean-up along Lexington Road. Crews will also repair any landscaping and other highway issues. Additionally, one eastbound lane of Lexington Road at Stilz Avenue is closed this week for repair work not related to the Eastern Parkway Project.
Louisville Water started the Eastern Parkway Project in 2016, nearly 100 years after the main was put in the ground. After three large breaks in 2011 and 2014, robotic pipe inspections indicated the pipe would likely continue to break. Working with the community and engineers, Louisville Water developed a solution that would install a new water main and preserve the character of historic Eastern Parkway corridor. Since 2016, the project has included more than 20 different traffic lane closures and detours. The project cost $26 million and was funded through Louisville Water’s capital budget.
HOW IT WORKS
Louisville Water installed a new, smaller pipe directly inside the original 1930-era pipe. Crews dug “push-pull pits” along the route where a 42-inch steel pipe went inside the existing 48-inch cast-iron pipe. Because Louisville Water has a redundant system and can use multiple water mains to deliver water, customers did not lose water service during the project.
See More: Eastern Parkway Project highlights