Work continues on TN American Water pipe
Work continues on a new pipe that's going under the Tennessee River. Tennessee American Water is putting in the pipe to help better serve customers in North Shore, Red Bank and on Signal Mountain.
"It'll start right through here,” Kitty Vaughn, water quality and environmental compliance supervisor at Tennessee America Water said while looking at the work, said. “They'll hook it to one of our high service lines, and it will go across the river."
Several pieces of pipe are scattered on the company’s property while crews are working on a 60-inch tunnel that will go under the Tennessee Riverpark. Once the tunnel is done, the pipe will be placed inside.
It will stretch 1,850 feet underneath the Tennessee River.
It's the third pipe to ever be laid across the river by Tennessee American Water and the first new one since 1963.
"It's important to have redundancy in pretty much everything that we do," Vaughn explained.
Vaughn was working two years ago when one of two pipes broke. She said getting water to residents across the river was difficult.
This new pipe provides a backup in case one fails.
"It's very important because when the one we had broke, we were running lines on top of the roads to make sure those customers had water and were never out of water," Vaughn added.
The first phase of the project started two months ago. Contractors were drilling into the bedrock and blasting a path for the new water main, and that will continue.
There won't be any disruption to customers until they connect the lines later this fall, and the Riverpark is still open to visitors while crews work.
Vaughn said the additional pipe will ensure water continues to flow to the 20,000 customers on the other side of the river.
"There will be water running through both of them, but if one breaks there's always that other one,” Vaughn urged.
The total project costs about $3.2 million. It's expected to be finished in December.