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LETTER: Oh Danny Boy, the Pipes, the Pipes Are Calling ...

City workers repair a water main on Lemarchant Road in a file photo. Work to upgrade systems in the Rabbittown area is slated to begin in April.
City workers repair a water main on Lemarchant Road in a file photo. Work to upgrade systems in the Rabbittown area is slated to begin in April. - SaltWire Network

As a resident of “Rabbit Town” I have been enduring two summers (spring-summer-falls) of disruption due to the ongoing pipe relining project underway. Last year it began with Dexter (an out of province contractor) as lead contractor.

“Temporary” above ground piping was set up to provide taxpayers with water service while the work took place.
All work halted part way through the summer due to some sort of dispute with the contractor over another project.

The summer ended with no progress to speak of in Rabbit town. The temporary above ground piping was removed to facilitate snow removal during the winter months.
Again this past spring the project work was renewed. Some streets in the neighborhood had the water mains relined then again all work ceased once more. There was no sign of any work being done for five to six weeks.

Finally, the secret came out that the lining was not up to par enough to get city approval or as the city put it “technical difficulties” came to light.
The streets with the inferior lining were dug up and the water mains were replaced.

Streets not yet lined were contracted to a new player in the game. Fer-Pal (another out of province contractor) was engaged to take over the relining work.

With winter fast approaching, Rabbit Town resembles a war zone with all the excavation work still ongoing.

Presumably, the decision to undertake relining as opposed to replacement of the water mains was either for economic reasons or to lessen the disruption resultant from major excavation.

Either of these theories seem difficult to accept given the fact that we sit here after two spring-summer-falls of work with no end in sight.

Surely the cost of two rounds of construction coupled with the hiring of a second contractor to fix the mistakes of the first one and the added disruption due to the extra excavation outweigh the cost and discomfort that would result from total replacement of the water mains.
Communication has been an issue with this work as well.

Most calls to the contractor or city get you an answering machine and no call returned. Now the financial wizards of city hall are suggesting a $30 increase in water tax per year may be an option for them.

I am thinking that we in Rabbit Town deserve a rebate after drinking from a garden hose for two spring-summer-falls.
 

Mike Manning

St. John's

Related story:

https://www.thetelegram.com/news/water-main-rehabilitation-work-to-begin-in-rabbittown-196051/Water main rehabilitation work to begin in Rabbittown

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