Paris City Council approves contract to replace old cast-iron water lines under city streets

City Engineer Shawn Napier brought this pipe to a city council meeting to show the corrosiveness of old cast iron water lines.

City Engineer Shawn Napier brought this pipe to a city council meeting to show the corrosiveness of old cast iron water lines.

The Paris City Council has awarded to Bray Construction of Paris a contract for nine water line projects, replacing miles of corroded, decades-old cast iron water lines in the city with new PCV pipe.

It’s Phase II of replacement of water lines being done with $3.4 million from a low-interest loan from the Texas Water Development Board.

When bids were opened on Dec. 12, Bray’s bid of $707,535.50 was more than 35 percent (almost $400,000) below the only other bid received — a bid of $1,101,463.37 from McInnis Brothers Construction, Inc., of Minden, La.

“We estimate we will have about $850,000 remaining in the TWDB fund, so we will probably end up adding some optional work back in,” City Engineer Shawn Napier told the city council at its meeting Monday night.

Last April, McInnis Brothers was awarded the contract for Phase I work with a bid of $1,815,203 to replace 2.3 miles of water lines. That bid was 9.6 percent below Bray’s bid of $2,008,320 and 13.5 percent below Harrison Walker Harper’s bid of $2,097,887.

After a motion by District 6 Councilwoman Cleonne Drake and a second by District 5 Councilman Matt Frierson, the council approved the Phase II contract unanimously.

City manager John Godwin has termed the TWDB loan “cheaper than cash” because the state agency forgave $510,000 of the loan since the project has been certified as a “green project.” In effect, the city got $3.4 million of work for a cost of $2.9 million.

In every instance, whether under Phase I or Phase II, residents should notice better water pressure and more water volume after the work is done, Napier said.

The Phase I and Phase II work under the TWDB loan is similar but separate from the work approved under a $45 million infrastructure bond that citizens approved last May, which will replace sewer lines in addition to old water lines.

The Phase II work approved by the council Monday night includes replacement of water lines in the following locations:

  • Cedar from SE 5th to SE 8th St.
  • NW 11th from Shiloh to Cherry
  • Garrett from NW 7th to NW 9th
  • Grand from SW 4th to SW 7th
  • NE 8th from Tudor to Martin Luther King
  • NW 7th from Center to Cherry
  • Cherry from NE 5th to NE 6th
  • Neatherly from SE 13th to SE 17th
  • Extend a 14-inch pipe from Walker Park to NW 13th

Phase I was for replacement of water lines under these streets:

  • Northeast 3rd Street from from Henderson to Lamar, and Southeast 3rd Street from Lamar to Kaufman
  • Church Street from Washington to Hearne
  • Deshong, Lewis and Stone Avenue

Along East 3rd from Henderson to Kaufman, a distance of about eight-tenths of a mile McInnis replaced 20-inch cast iron lines with 20-inch PVC lines.

The rest of the Phase I work involved replacement of 6-inch cast-iron lines with 6-inch or 8-inch PVC lines.

By Charles Richards, eParisExtra


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About the Author

Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.