Emergency repair costs resulting from widespread flooding over Father’s Day weekend are approaching $ 2 million for taxpayers in Tuscaloosa.
Two repair contracts were unanimously approved on Tuesday by Tuscaloosa City Council to pay for repairs to broken water pipes near the city’s raw water intake at Tuscaloosa Lake and pipe failures. water and sewer system near the Black Warrior River.
The larger contract of the two totaled $ 1.13 million and went to Dominion Construction Co. Inc. of Tuscaloosa, which is still working on repairing a 24-inch water pipe and a water pipe. Failed 24-inch sanitary sewer between Riverview Landing and Nucor Steel along Jack Warner Drive.
Jarrod Milligan, the city’s acting executive director of infrastructure and utilities, said it would take at least two more weeks to complete the work and put the pipes back together. In the meantime, any sewage overflow problem is mitigated by pumps and other measures.
John Plott Co., based in Tuscaloosa, won the second of two contracts, which were worth $ 675,465.
This will fund the repair of a break in slope, the replacement of a 120 foot 42 inch water pipe, the repair of a 36 inch steel water pipe by welding 2 welded steel plates and correcting a low water crossing and washout that allowed pipes to break near Tuscaloosa Lake.
Milligan said those pipes were back online and circulating with raw water that would be turned into potable water for Tuscaloosa customers.
However, due to a third raw water pipe that was redundantly constructed for this purpose, the city’s water services were not affected by the rupture.
These infrastructure failures were caused by heavy rains that fell on Tuscaloosa last month when Tropical Storm Claudette swept over Tuscaloosa and western Alabama.
The National Weather Service estimated that Claudette dumped between 4.3 inches and 7.8 inches of rain in central Tuscaloosa County in less than 24 hours.
“When you have these big rains, you’re going to have things like this happening,” Milligan said after the storm. “It is difficult to prepare for and prevent anything that can happen during a rainy event of this magnitude. “
City crews are used to repair a broken water pipe that was discovered near Kicker Road off 25th Avenue Northeast, which was caused by washing a creek bank and carrying it with it a section of an 8 inch water pipe.
But the final repair costs are not yet known and early estimates indicated that they could reach $ 4 million before the work is completed.
However, all of these costs may not fall on local taxpayers and taxpayers.
The city council has initiated the emergency declaration process which, if approved at the federal level, could provide financial assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for local governments and landowners.
The declaration of a state of emergency, if approved by the Biden administration, creates funding resources that can help owners of underinsured homes and property while reimbursing local governments for the costs associated with repairing them. storm damage.
“It’s a benefit for local governments,” Maddox said last month, “and a benefit for potential owners and business owners alike.”
Contact Jason Morton at [email protected].