One Brownstown project nearing completion, another one planned

BROWNSTOWN — The condition of some of the streets and roads in the county seat should improve in the coming days as one of two infrastructure projects begins to wind down.

The project to improve the wastewater treatment collection, however, is the smaller of the two. The larger project involves the replacement of water mains and lines to homes by Jackson County Water Utility.

Scott Hunsucker, superintendent of Brownstown Wastewater Utility, gave a report on the wastewater treatment collection system improvements to the town council during its meeting Monday evening.

He said SLB Pipe Solutions, the Indianapolis subcontractor for the portion of the project to reline existing sewer lines, installed the last liner on Friday.

“We’ve got several issues there we are trying to get worked through,” he said of the work.

The repaving of the entry points SLB used to reline sewer lines has started and includes repaving of some of the 81 manholes that have been replaced or rehabilitated.

“Sometime later, they are coming back and putting Elm and Cummings streets back together,” Hunsucker said of the repaving contractor.

On Wednesday, Hunsucker said the sanitary sewer collection part of the project should be about 80 to 85% complete.

“That contract is supposed to be done in July,” he said.

The larger portions of the $6.675 million project, which involves the replacement of the Vallonia Road lift station and the Bob Thomas lift station and aging and undersized equipment at the wastewater treatment plant and other improvements there, are in the early stages.

“They’re waiting on equipment,” Hunsucker said.

A large portion of Spring and Walnut streets has been impacted by the water company’s project to replace 120-year-old water lines. Other affected areas include Front Street from near the water company to Walnut Street beyond the Jackson County Courthouse and parts of Branch, Stillwell, Sugar, Tanner, Asher, High and Cross streets.

The project also includes the replacement of water service to 223 residences and businesses.

That project started in early January and is set to be substantially complete by February 2024. The contractor had 350 days to complete the project as some of the work started in July 2022, said Larry McIntosh, general manager of Jackson County Water Utility.

He said the hope is to have that project completed enough by Thanksgiving so road repaving work can be finished. McIntosh said some repaving of intersections could start within a month.

One of the issues with repaving involves a requirement that lines be pressure tested before being covered permanently, and some testing of lines recently was completed.