Although the possibility of underground water pipelines breaking or leaking to the surface might create short-term inconveniences, the long-term benefit is understood by local residents.
Construction manager for the Fort Worth Transportation Public Works, Robby Carnes, said the water service roadwork on Lubbock Avenue and Merida Avenue will prevent future problems.
Referring to the Lowden parking lot, Carnes said the houses that used to be where the lot now stands had water pipes connected to them that were probably 40-50 years old.
“This increases the chances of leaks," he said.
Carnes said if the construction did not happen now, the pipes would consistently leak over time and repairs could last for years.
“If any of them leak, we would just have to come out and fix them,” Carnes said. “Then a few months down the road, maybe a year down the road, here comes another leak and here comes another leak. It’s just preventing the maintenance.”
He said the roadwork involves digging up the water meters that are connected to the main meter where a valve is located.
“We dig on top of the shut-off valve and turn it off,” Carnes said. “That’s all there is to it.”
Construction began Monday and is expected to finish Thursday.
Mary Gugliuzza, Fort Worth Water Department media relations and communications coordinator, said a lot of factors are taken into consideration when addressing possible leaks.
“In some circumstances, maintenance would involve cutting out a section of the pipe and replacing it with a new section,” Gugliuzza said. “We are being proactive to minimize the chance of something like that to happen.”
Gugliuzza said the additional active water lines create more opportunities for problems to occur.
“It could possibly inhibit access to the lot,” she said. “This would just create a bigger maintenance headache.”
The road construction on the water pipelines lasts for about a week, but could prevent years of problems. Some homeowners around the roadwork expressed gratitude towards the proactive construction as opposed to the potential for frequent repairs in the future. However, the process hasn't been entirely without negative effects for homeowners in the area.
Kenny Vaughn, a retired TCU electrician who lives by the construction, said it’s not nice looking out of your screen door and seeing construction cones and caution tape.
“It’s been rough, you can hardly back out of your driveway sometimes,” Vaughn said. “I’m just glad they’re getting it done now and not waiting until something happens.”
Vaughn, who has lived in his Lubbock Avenue home for 20 years, said he thinks the city is smart for being active on the water pipelines early.
“Everything they are doing is for the better,” he said.
Jeff Karnowski, homeowner on Merida Avenue, said the roadwork has affected the parking in front of his house.
“They have asked us to move our cars up from in front of our own house,” Karnowski said. “We’ve had to park all the down the block and walk back.”
Karnowski said the short-term construction has caused inconveniences, but he understands the process and how it will pay off.
“If something can be fixed in the long term and you have to go through the short term problems, then go for it,” he said. “I think it’s great.”
Eric Kalis, senior strategic communication major, said the water service roadwork temporarily cut off the water supply for his home, forcing him to shower at a friend’s house.
“I haven’t really enjoyed it, but I do appreciate the work they are trying to do,” Kalis said. “It’s going to require less maintenance in the future.”