East Village Magazine
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The City of Flint announced Tuesday that water pipeline replacement, paused the last two months by the coronavirus lockdowns, will resume this week.
When work stopped in March, 9,554 lead or galvanized pipes had been replaced, part of the city’s infrastructure recovery from the water crisis triggered in 2014 when the lack of corrosion control in the pipes from Flint River water unleashed lead from old pipes into the bodies of Flint residents. What happened to the city, under state takeover at the time, was labeled a national disgrace in what some called the worst human-made environmental disaster of our lifetimes.
A total of 25,409 pipes have been excavated in the water pipeline work, with 15,526 discovered to be copper lines not needing replacement.
The work, funded by $100 million from the federal Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation (WIIN) fund, originally was scheduled to be completed by 2019, but “fell behind schedule during the previous administration,” of former Mayor Karen Weaver, and because of the COVID-shutdowns, according to the city’s press release. Weaver was defeated in 2019 by Sheldon Neeley.
Workers will observe COVID-19 precautions throughout, city officials stated, as follows:
“Workers will remain a minimum of six feet from all residents. They also will wear gloves, face masks and face shields when going door-to-door. They also will ask residents how they are feeling and if it would be an appropriate time to do service line replacement work. All work areas inside the home will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.”
The city press release said the replacement program is about 85 percent complete, and is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
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