FARMINGTON — A $900,000 water line project that has closed Municipal Drive to traffic from Navajo to 20th streets since mid-April is finally coming to an end.

Farmington's Public Works Department is installing a new, 24-inch water line on Municipal Drive. The project should be complete by the end of the month.

“That line serves probably more than 60 percent of the city,” said Jeff Smaka, the city's public works director. “That's a critical line. (The water) goes all the way out to Main and 20th. We've had leaks on it before.”

Replacing the aging 24-inch steel pipe with a modern, 24-inch PVC line was a top priority for Smaka's department.
Road work continues on Thursday, June 13, 2013, along Municipal Drive in Farmington.
Road work continues on Thursday, June 13, 2013, along Municipal Drive in Farmington. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
But before construction could begin, three aging sewer lines had to be moved out of the way and consolidated.

Some of the sewer lines were in excess of 50 years old. The existing sewer lines also varied in depth, some as deep as 12 to 14 feet under the roadway.

The sewer project was completed late last year and cost about $200,000, Smaka said.

The water line project, however, ran into some trouble near Glade Road.

Construction crews had to rebuild the intersection because of poor subsurface compaction, said Ruben Salcido, the city's water and wastewater operations manager and environmental coordinator, at Wednesday's monthly Public Utility Commission meeting.

“There were some drainage issues,” Salcido said. “The storm drain line was broken.”

Completion of the project could allow the city to extend an older water line from Municipal Drive and 20th Street to Sunset Avenue, he said.

Greg Yee covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and gyee@daily-times.com. Follow him @GYeeDT on Twitter.