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Storm drain

New storm drain pipes await installation on Oak Avenue between Mitchell Drive and Spring Street, where the city discovered cracks in a clay pipe dating back to the 1930s.

Contractors are working to replace a compromised section of storm drain along Oak Avenue between Mitchell Drive and Spring Street.

Nearby construction work revealed cracks in the unreinforced clay pipe that’s believed to date back to the 1930s, said Public Works Director Erica Ahmann Smithies.

The extent of the problem wasn’t clear until the storm over the Thanksgiving holiday. The city installed a temporary bypass, but it became inundated during last week’s storm, which caused localized flooding in the area.

After checking with three contractors, the city hired Ghilotti Construction Company, which estimated $350,000 for 10 days of work to dig up the old pipe and replace it. Work began Friday and is tentatively expected to end early next week.

Smithies said the city is looking at funding the project with gas taxes, the state’s SB 1, and the city’s General Fund.

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