Greencastle officials, who only a few weeks ago celebrated the end to a four-month, trouble-plagued water line project on the city's north side, got some news they didn't want to hear.
It seems the newly installed pipe has sprung a leak.
Mayor Nancy Michael told the BannerGraphic on Wednesday that crews from Midwest Trenchless, based in Michigan, are on their way back to Greencastle and should be in town today to beginning fixing the problem.
Water plant foreman Ed Phillips said he was driving on north Jackson Street, just south of Doc James Road, on Tuesday when he noticed water leaking from the ground. When he passed by on Wednesday and the water was still there, closer inspection revealed that the underground pipe had begun to leak.
Michael said she doesn't know what crews will find when they begin excavating the area on Thursday, but she hopes the cost for repairs will be covered under the city's contract with Midwest.
The area between Doc James Road and the railroad viaduct caused major problems for workers when they were installing the pipe this fall because the pipe is buried 9 feet deep.
Back in June, Midwest was contracted to refurbish the existing water main that runs from the water plant, located next to the Putnam County Fairground, north along Jackson Street and ends at the courthouse square. The original line was installed in the late 1800s and was buried in a haphazard manner, starting at a depth of 2 or 3 feet deep and plunging to 9 feet deep.
Midwest officials reported to the city, during several public meetings in the summer and fall, that they were having trouble inserting the new pipe into the existing pipe, which led to several breaks in the new pipe.
Since the company was having so much trouble getting the new pipe to slid thorugh the old one, the company and the city agreed to cut the project short, ending in near the intersection of Shadow-lawn Avenue.
City officials were hoping the pipe project had finally ended, but apparently the trouble has returned.
As the project dragged on, local residents have complained for weeks about the holes that were made in the pavement on North Jackson Street and the patching that was done after the pipe installation was completed.
Michael told members of the Board of Works on Wednesday that Black Diamond, the company contracted to do the patching work, has been delayed by the recent inclement weather. They may not be able to do the final patching until the spring, Michael said. Residents and business owners are again being asked to exercise patience as the project is continuing to experience problems and delays.
It was not clear, on Wednesday evening, whether water service would be interrupted on Thursday while the pipe was being repaired.