By Jan Worth-Nelson
With the return of spring weather, work has resumed on replacing lead-tainted water lines in the city.
As of April 18, the date of work resumption, 6,264 lines had been replaced, according to Kristin Moore, City of Flint communications and public information director. Existing city records indicate about 12,000 more Flint homes have lead or galvanized service lines due for replacement.
Contractors began on Calumet Street in the College Cultural Neighborhood.
Moore said crews from three contractors will be finishing work on Phase Four, which began May, 2017, of the city’s Flint Action Sustainability Team (FAST) Start program over the next three to six weeks. The pipe replacement program has been organized into six phases, running through 2019.
Companies completing Phase Four work are Goyette Mechanical, W.T. Stevens Construction, and Waldorf and Sons. Moore said two of the contractors each have 50 to 60 service lines to complete – expected to be finished in three to six weeks. The third has mobilized four crews, expected to be finished in six to eight weeks.
At the same time, bids are going out to contractors for Phase Five.
Last fall, AECOM, an international engineering company based in Los Angeles, took over coordination of the water line replacement work from General Michael McDaniel and members of the Michigan National Guard who had been coordinating efforts in the initial stages of the water crisis.
AECOM received a 13-month, $5 million contract from the city which began Dec. 1, 2017.
Funding of $25 million to cover Phases 1-3 came from the State of Michigan, approved in June, 2016.
Another $100 million for infrastructure replacement came from the federal Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation (WIIN) Act passed in March, 2017.
An additional estimated $47 million is expected to come from the April, 2017 settlement of a lawsuit against city and state officials by the Concerned Pastors for Social Action, the National Resources Defense Council and Flint resident and water activist Melissa Mays.
More information on the FAST Start program, including maps for each phase, is available at https://www.cityofflint.com/fast-start/.
EVM Editor Jan Worth-Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.