Bad weather. Broken water lines. Last-minute surprises.
All have worked against Greencastle officials in their attempts to rehabilitate a 100-year-old water line on the city's north side.
One year ago this May, officials signed the contract with Michigan-based Midwest Trenchless Co. to reline an underground water main, beginning from the water plant north of the 4-H Fairgrounds and ending at the courthouse downtown.
Officials thought the project would be done by the 2007 4-H fair in July, but it would wind up taking another four months for workers to secure the new pipe to Shadowlawn Avenue, several blocks shy of the goal. At last check, there was no word on whether the city would pay to have the remaining section of the pipe relined anytime soon.
When weary Midwest crews pulled out of town last fall, cold weather forced them to leave several large holes on Jackson Street open. Large metal plates were placed over the holes, which provided a bumpy ride for drivers all winter long.
Earlier this month, road crews came back to the holes to begin the repairs but were again stopped in their tracks -- this time by a broken storm drain that was causing water to back up in the holes. Work was stopped and repairs made.
Last week, Mayor Sue Murray told excited members of the Board of Works that the paving could resume, just as soon as Mother Nature stops sending showers this way.
But there was another small matter to take care of -- reimbursing Midwest up to $2,500, or half the cost to repair the road.
City Attorney Laurie Hardwick explained that the payment was necessary for the city to "come to some resolution" with Midwest and to clear up "some remaining issues" relating to the project.
The Board of Works voted unanimously to approve the payment.
Meanwhile, workers are beginning to close off the holes in North Jackson Street and top them off with a fresh layer of asphalt. The mayor said the repairs should be done soon.