ALEXANDRIA, Va. (September 12, 2019) — Virginia American Water is investing nearly $6.3 million to improve and replace aging water infrastructure in Alexandria. The new water main installation projects will enhance water service reliability and fire protection for customers in the Old Town, Del Ray and West End neighborhoods in Alexandria, as well as increase fire hydrant and household and business water pressure to Potomac Yard and Potomac Greens.
Virginia American Water recently began the installation of 4,800 feet of 16-inch transmission water main. This $2.5 million project will provide the nearly 165 fire hydrants along the pipeline route and in the Potomac Yard and Potomac Greens neighborhoods with increased water pressure. In addition, customers in Potomac Yard and Potomac Greens will experience improved water pressure in their homes and businesses. Weather permitting, this project will be completed in spring 2020.
The transmission water main will be installed on West Windsor Avenue (between Russell Road and Commonwealth Avenue); Commonwealth Avenue (between West Windsor and East Custis Avenues); and East Custis Avenue (between Commonwealth Avenue and Main Line Boulevard). Water to the homes on these streets will continue to be provided by the existing water mains; but the hydrants will receive increased pressure from the transmission main currently being installed.
“Virginia American Water is proactively working to both replace the aging water infrastructure and enhance fire protection in the City of Alexandria,” said Kristina McGee, PE, engineering manager, who oversees the company’s capital investment program. “The company continues to invest resources in infrastructure to help ensure that water service is always reliable and adequate for homes, businesses and fire hydrants.”
Virginia American Water is also overseeing five simultaneous water main replacement projects in Alexandria:
- North Howard, North Iverson, North Imboden Streets and Raleigh Avenue/North Gordon Street ($1,115,000 total investment): Virginia American Water’s contractor, J. Fletcher Creamer & Son, has begun replacing 3,590 feet of 6- and 8-inch cast iron pipe that was installed in the 1950s with 8-inch ductile iron main in the Foxchase Apartments area. Pipeline construction occurs on North Howard Street (between Taney Avenue and North Jordan Street); North Iverson Street (between North Jordon Street and the cul-de-sac); North Imboden Street to Raleigh Avenue; and North Gordon Street at Tulsa Place. The project is expected to be complete by late November, weather permitting.
- South Ingram Street, Underwood Place, Utica Avenue and Hudson Street ($852,900 investment): Virginia American Water’s contractor, Utilities Unlimited, has begun replacing 2,605 feet of 2- and 6-inch cast iron water main that was installed in the 1950s. The new water mains will be 4-, 6- and 8-inch of ductile iron, and the pipeline route is South Ingram Street (between Vermont Avenue and Duke Street); the entire length of Underwood Place; the entire length of Utica Avenue, and South Hudson Street (between Utica and Vermont Avenues). Construction is expected to last 3 to 4 months.
- Prince Street ($800,000 investment): Utilities Unlimited is currently replacing 1,600 feet of 6-inch cast iron water main with 8-inch ductile iron main on Prince between Washington and Lee Streets. Most of the water main the company is replacing in this project dates to 1851. The project is expected to be complete by late November, weather permitting.
- East Nelson Avenue ($540,000 total investment): Utilities Unlimited will replace 1,800 feet of 6-inch cast iron and transite water main installed in the 1940s and 1950s with 8-inch ductile iron main. Construction begins this week on East Nelson Avenue (between Leslie and Mount Vernon Avenues).
- West Walnut Street and Commonwealth Avenue ($466,800 total investment): Utilities Unlimited will replace 880 feet of 4-inch cast iron water main on West Walnut Street (between Russell Road and Commonwealth Avenue) installed in 1913 with 8-inch ductile iron main. In addition to the main replacement, the project includes the installation of an 8-inch ductile iron loop on Commonwealth Avenue between West Oak and West Maple Streets to help ensure water reliability. Weather permitting, construction is expected to begin by the end of September and will last 2 to 3 months.
Construction crews will work weekdays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. for the projects listed above, with the exception of Prince Street and the one block of construction on Commonwealth Avenue, which will be between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Evening and weekend work is not expected, unless required to maintain the projects’ schedules. Once the new mains are installed, residents (with the exception of those in which the transmission main is being installed for increased pressure in Potomac Yard and Potomac Greens) may experience a temporary water interruption as the new mains are connected to the service lines at each address. This service interruption typically lasts one hour, and residents will be notified of the impending interruption at least 3 days in advance. Once water service is restored after the new main is placed into service, water may be slightly discolored. If this happens, customers are encouraged to run the water until it is clear.
Customers and visitors are encouraged to use caution and slow down when driving through work zones and construction sites, as well as obey “No Parking” signs posted by city workers.