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Arlington Water Main Replacement Causes South Wayne Construction Mess

April 24, 2020

Editor’s UPDATE (04.27.20):  The Association is collecting residents’ concerns with this project submit yours by following this link:  https://forms.gle/16t9fC4iuAYjsLQ28

For the next three months around Arlington Avenue and Sherwood Terrace, water mains and service lines to houses will be replaced.

We expected disruptions along Arlington.  We did not expect South Wayne – outside the project zone – to become a construction yard.  Neither the Association nor neighbors who live on South Wayne had any warning this would happen.

The following two letters lay out most of what we know about the current situation.  The first one is our letter to the City.  The second is their response.  The City is looking for answers to provide us, and we will update this site when those are available.

 

Here is the letter the Association sent to City Utilities:

Transcript of Email to City Utilities, 04.23.20

RE:  Arlington water main replacement; South Wayne as a construction yard

To:   Frank Suarez,  Director of Public Information, Division of Public Works and City Utilities

CC:  Geoff Paddock, 5th District City Council; Michelle Chambers, Glynn Hines, and Thomas Freistroffer, City Council at-Large; Mayor Tom Henry (separate email)

 

I am taken aback and disappointed with City Utilities lack of communication for the Arlington water main replacement.  I “subscribed” to City Utilities newsletter last September.  Historic Southwood Park hasn’t received a single message from City Utilities regarding this project.  Not one letter or email.

This is very different from the good communication we’ve enjoyed regarding the Rudisill closure.

We did expect disrupted yards and road limitations along Arlington and Fairfield.

But Southwood Park did not expect to have three long blocks of boulevards turned into a construction zone and storage yard.  We were puzzled at an intersection closure at Sherwood and South Wayne.  We had no idea that South Wayne, outside the current replacement zone, would be effected.

Confusion could have been avoided with a letter to the Association.  We just mailed a newsletter and could have let everyone know. 

The project has already begun, but questions remain…

  • Can we get a statement to share with the neighborhood on what to expect?
  • Who is the project manager?
  • How long will construction last?
  • What can we do to help move this along quickly?
  • What are construction hours?
  • How long will Sherwood/South Wayne be closed?
  • What other closures are expected?
  • Will residents off Arlington experience discolored water?  
  • Will residents off Arlington experience water disruptions?
  • What streets will be worked on next? (I am aware preliminary engineering surveys have already been conducted.  If South Wayne needs main replacement, I hope we keep working from there while it’s still torn up.)

The Association needs to be involved in the restoration of all three boulevards.  A quick runover with a Bobcat and sprinkling grass seed isn’t going to suffice.  This disruption to the landscape – if not properly repaired – will damage property values.  We have worked with the City to have a number of street trees planted.  The Association has invested time and effort to control weeds, fertilize the lawn, and tend two pocket gardens.

We look forward to sharing your answers with our residents who are asking us for answers.

Steve McCord
President, Board of Directors

 

Here is the response we received:

Greetings Steve,

  

Thanks for your email.

  

I hope I can clear some of this up for you.

  

This project is Phase 1 of the Arlington and Sherwood Area Water Main Replacement. It’s part of City Utilities’ efforts to replace 14 miles of aging water main each year. In the past ten years, there were more than 80 main breaks in this area. 

  

Three hundred six property owners, with homes in the project area, were invited to a project meeting in September and then a Meet the Contractor meeting on January 15. The property owners were from the neighborhoods of Sherwood to Petit Civic, Southwood Park, Fairmont, and a few on West Rudisill, where it intersects with Arlington and Fairfield.

  

Residents in the project area from Southwood Park neighborhood were invited to those meetings. The invitees were in the 4600-4700 block of Fairfield, 500-600 block of West Sherwood Terrace and those in the 4500-4700 block of Arlington Avenue.  That said, I have asked our team to make sure the neighborhood presidents get invited even if the project area is predominately in another neighborhood.

  

This $1.47 million investment includes the installation of the new pipes in the following areas:

  

Arlington Ave; W Rudisill Blvd to W Pettit Ave

Fairfield Ave; W Maple Grove Ave to W Sherwood Terrace

W Fleming Ave; Fairfield Ave to S Calhoun St

W Sherwood Terrace; Fairfield Ave to S Calhoun St

Hoagland Ave; W Fleming Ave to W Maple Grove Ave

S Calhoun St; W Fleming Ave to E Pettit Ave

  

After awarding a contract, it is up to the contractor to look for a staging area for their project. It’s my understanding that they worked with the Right-of-Way department and chose the public space on South Wayne. The intersection thus far is only closed when they are working.  It is open in the evenings and on weekends. I am checking for additional information on this item and will get back to you.

  

The project will last until August. Construction will occur about 10-hours per day Monday-Friday. If the weather causes delays, they may work on some Saturdays. As they are installing pipes on many of these streets, there will likely be lane restrictions or temporary closures for safety. We do not anticipate water disruption unless valves fail to work correctly and need to be repaired or replaced.

  

Nick Rupley is the construction manager. His email is Nicholas.Rupley@cityoffortwayne.org

 

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have further questions.

 

Sincerely,

Frank Suárez

Director of Public Information

Division of Public Works and City Utilities

City of Fort Wayne

 

Here are some additional items we found on the City’s website that may be more useful to residents in the actual work zone.  If you live in the workzone, you may have gotten these by mail.

Arlington-Sherwood_Fact_Sheet Arlington-Sherwood_Meet_the_Contractor Handout_-_construction_what_to_expect

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. Leisa Drinkwater permalink
    April 24, 2020 7:04 pm

    I would like to know when to expect construction to affect me. Not to mention that a water test kit would have been nice before considering whether or not to sign their contract. I had to have a contractor come to my house to determine if my water pipes are lead. (Fortunately they are not). And I question why the boundaries start and stop where they do? Am I assuming incorrectly that there was some logic in that? Go figure.

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