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Work on new Farmington water line begins in May

Work on project has been divided into two phases

Hannah Grover
hgrover@daily-times.com
Work on the replacement of a decades-old water line will get underway in May near the intersection of the Bloomfield Highway and Sandstone Avenue in Farmington.
  • The 2P wate rline serves a portion of southeast Farmington south of Southside River Road and north of U.S. Highway 64.
  • The water line is the second priority project on the city's infrastructure capital improvement plan.
  • Federal money distributed to the state is being used to finance the project.

FARMINGTON — Work on the replacement of a decades-old water line on the city's south side is scheduled to start next month.

The approximately 65-year-old 2P water line serve south Farmington, including a portion of U.S. Highway 64, Sandstone Avenue, Hutton Road and Don Rovin Lane, as well as part of Bloomfield Boulevard, Carlton Avenue and McCormick Road.

During a City Council meeting this morning, Public Works Director David Sypher said work on phase one of the water line is scheduled to begin May 1. Phase one includes Sandstone Avenue and a portion of U.S. Highway 64.

Sypher said the designs for phase two, which will include a portion of U.S. Highway 64 and McCormick Road, are almost complete. The city likely will complete phase two next year, he said.

The water line is the second priority project on the city's infrastructure capital improvement plan. The entire project is estimated to cost approximately $8.2 million and will be paid out of the renewal and replacement fund.

City Manager Rob Mayes said a unique financing opportunity is allowing the city to pay for the upgrade using federal money distributed by the state. The loan has a 2-percent interest rate. In addition to the low interest rate, 25-percent forgiveness also made the funding attractive to the city, Mayes said.

The city received the $3.2 million loan from the New Mexico Finance Authority last year, and a $2.7 million loan this year from the same source will pay for phase two of the water line. The remaining amount also likely will be funded through the same source, according to city officials.

The current water line running near the intersection of the Bloomfield Highway and Sandstone Avenue is has been in use for 65 years despite having a life span of only 50 years.

Mayes said Farmington has been proactive with its renewal and replacement fund. That fund can only be used on the water and wastewater infrastructure.

Sypher said the old water line is made of cast iron and steel. That material has a lifespan of 50 years.

In addition to the old material, the old water line features 6-inch pipe, which Sypher said is undersized for the area. He said that pipe will be replaced with larger pipe to better serve the businesses and residences that the water line serves.

The current line is unable to hydraulically supply the needs of the community and provide for future growth, Sypher said.

"It's time to replace the pipes," he said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.