Unforeseen problems with the city's water line rehabilitation project near downtown have forced Greencastle officials to cut the project short.
The original plan called for the city's century-old water main running from the water plant north of town to the Putnam County Courthouse downtown to be relined. But unexpected twists and turns in the underground line have delayed the project by weeks.
The city budget of approximately $726,000 for the project is running short and so officials have made the decision to not finish the project.
Mayor Nancy Michael said she made the decision to stop the water line project in the vicinity of Shadowlawn Avenue and North Jackson Street, near Neal Tire. Even still, she said she anticipates it taking until mid-November for that to happen.
As for the remaining distance to the downtown area, Michael said she does not know when that project will be completed, but it won't be this year.
At last month's meeting of the Greencastle Board of Public Works, officials from Midwest Trenchless Services, who are performing the water line project, said they encountered unexpected problems with the cast iron pipe and had to request an extension of the project deadline. It was supposed to be done Aug. 31.
Work crews said the pipe dipped from 3 feet underground to approximately 7 feet in a very short distance, which made it nearly impossible to insert a rigid PVC pipe inside, which is what the rehabilitation required.
One concern Greencastle drivers had with the project was the temporary water line that was laid above ground to service businesses along Jackson Street, which accounts for the rough pavement drivers in and out of those businesses have been experiencing for several weeks.
Michael said the temporary line was meant to serve the city's water customers while the restoration of the underground line was taking place. Once crews finish relining the pipe to Shadowlawn Avenue, they will remove the temporary line running north to the downtown area.
The temporary asphalt patches that have caused drivers to complain will be removed and the street restored to normal, Michael said.