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Langley waterline work on schedule

Gary Boyer flattens dug-up dirt and pavement on Langley’s First Street. Work to replace the waterline is on track to finish by April.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Gary Boyer flattens dug-up dirt and pavement on Langley’s First Street. Work to replace the waterline is on track to finish by April.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Digging starts early on Langley’s First Street.

It has to if a major waterline replacement is to finish on time. Ben Watanabe / The Record | Langley’s downtown is a bit crowded Monday with backhoes and tractors lining the west side of First Street. Krieg Construction has a $300,000 contract to replace the waterline from Wharf Street to DeBruyn Avenue.

Krieg Construction workers are on schedule to wrap replacing the waterline by April, barring any setbacks. Work on the waterline from Wharf Street to DeBruyn Avenue had yet to hit any major delays, and the main waterline was replaced by March 11. All that remains are the business and residential tie-ins and resurfacing the torn-up road.

Residents’ and businesses’ concerns of water loss were assuaged by Langley’s public works office. Before any work began, city employees distributed pamphlets about the $307,662 project to First Street doors. Krieg Construction attempts to notify businesses 24 hours in advance when it may lose water, but sometimes the work outpaces the PR.

“We try not to inconvenience them,” said Bryan Duysings, a Krieg Construction employee. “It’s a little give and take — they’re without water for a little while, but they get a new waterline.”

Restaurants have special consideration when the tie-in begins. Pulling out the old pipes can shut off water for hours at a time, depending on the difficulty. A patchwork of piping was found from the main line to various buildings on First Street, and one tie-in near The Heron recently gave Krieg Construction fits.

Work began first thing in the morning to replace the tie-in. Three hours and three other completed tie-ins later, and The Heron’s water was still off.

“There’s some super old plumbing in here,” said Krieg Construction worker Jim Jaeger, who wouldn’t lambast previous work on the waterline. “And you never know what you have until it’s opened up.”

“We found some interesting plumbing.”

Some of the tie-ins are more than 40 years old. Other pipes, even if they were installed only a decade ago, created a maze of styles that make it difficult for Langley Public Works to manage. Krieg Construction will standardize the water system on First Street.

Some Langley businesses shared concerns with the city council that the project would interfere with Mystery Weekend in February. Krieg Construction relocated all of its equipment, including several backhoes and tractors, to the vacant bus lot behind Langley Middle School.

The entire project could wrap with paving and sidewalk repair in April. Replacing the waterline and repaving was originally estimated to take about 40 working days.

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