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The Durham City Council has been busy during the lockdown! Part 2: Council approves $7.7 million in road improvement projects

Durham is moving ahead with about $7.7 million in road improvement projects, including $3 million for work on manholes.

That includes an additional $1.1 million for the West Club Boulevard utility project that will cover the Ninth Street area up to West Club Boulevard, increasing the project to a total of $1.9 million. The council also approved $1.6 million for street repairs and repaving in 2020, and a combined $3 million for a comprehensive Manhole Rehabilitation Project.

The city council approved these projects at their April to May meetings.

According to Jennifer Smart, spokeswoman for the Department of Water Management, the Manhole Rehabilitation project will cover 1,550 manholes throughout the city. Workers will spray a cement liner to the inside of the manholes to provide structural support and seal up leaky spots.

The comprehensive project is split into north and south portions. Work is slated to begin in June and is expected to wrap up in seven months for the north portion, and one year for south.

Smart said in an e-mail this week that this project is different from the manholes have been covered with steel plates in the city. Those site repairs had to do with excavation. The new project will involve shorter construction.

“In some cases, a lane closure, flaggers, or other traffic control measures may be required to safely complete the work associated with this project,” she said. “These impacts are not expected to be of long duration – the manhole liner takes a few hours to apply and cure. In rare cases, a full road closure or night work may be required to safely complete the work and minimize disruptions to the public.”

Smart said the Water Department had done a study to identify where the sewer system is the “leakiest,” that is, where rain and groundwater flow into pipes. “Inflow and infiltration are indicators of the condition of the system,” she said.

According to maps provided by the department, the north and south portions are bounded by the Durham Freeway. Neighborhoods most affected by this project will be Hope Valley Road, Fayetteville Street, University Drive, Guess Road and others can expect to see workers in the next year.

(Click on the maps below for details on the locations for the project.)

In addition to this project and others, the city council also approved another $108,703 for the University Drive Bicycle and Pedestrian project.

Neil Allen, a project manager contracted with Durham, said the money will go toward construction inspection.

The road improvement projects approved by the council in their April and May meetings are the following:

      • West Club Boulevard Corridor: An additional $1.1 million, increasing the total contract to $1,883,107.21
      • Manhole Rehabilitation South: $1,647,750
      • Manhole Rehabilitation North: $1,367,355
      • Street Repairs and Repaving 2020: An additional $1,600,000
      • Buckingham Road Culvert Replacement: $468,215.50
      • Alpine Road Culvert: $428,071.05
      • East Club Boulevard Spot Safety: $150,000 from the N.C. Department of Transportation
      • University Drive Bicycle and Pedestrian: Additional $108,703.60

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