Greencastle officials have approved what they hope will be the final extension of a major water line project that has plagued businesses and annoyed drivers on the city's north side for months.
Crews from Midwest Trenchless, based in Michigan, were contracted back in the spring to reline a century-old water main running from the water plant, located next to the Putnam County Fairgrounds, to the courthouse square.
But because the line dipped and meandered, seemingly for no reason along the way, the project saw many delays.
Good news came recently when Mayor Nancy Michael informed the Board of Works that the company anticipates being done by Nov. 30.
Last month, the city extended Midwest's contract to Oct. 30. The month before that, they were asked to extend it to Sept. 30.
Most of the problems occurred between Doc James Road and Neal Tire where the pipe reportedly dropped as much as 10 feet in the ground in a span of only a few feet.
This created major problems as the workers tried to insert a rigid PVC pipe inside the old cast iron pipe. The PVC pipe broke many times and Midwest officials reported a loss of around $20,000 in ruined pipe.
On Wednesday, Mayor Nancy Michael said the company is as anxious as the city to see the project completed.
Meanwhile, local contractor Black Diamond Paving was hired to apply asphalt patches to cover all the holes that Midwest had to drill into the pavement along Jackson Street during the project. The rough spots have been bothersome to drivers along that route for weeks.
The mayor said that paving crews are currently in the process of finishing up those patching jobs and that the entire project should be completed by the end of the month.
Like she has done at previous city meetings, the mayor urged the citizenry to be patient with the project.
"We need the community to know that this project is not completed yet," she told the board. "They still have work to do."
Michael said she wanted to assure the public that the company will clean up the piles of rock and other material that were left by the project and that the grassy areas that were disturbed will also be reseeded.
It should be noted that the project was cut short and will not be completed as originally proposed.
The original plan called for the water main to be relined all the way to downtown, but the city and Midwest officials agreed to stop at Neal Tire because of all the problems they were having and the fact that they wanted to finish up before winter.
The mayor told the Board of Works on Wednesday that the total project costs are in the range of $250,000, less than the $300,000 originally budgeted.
The Greencastle Board of Works meets at 4 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at city hall.