Council Approves RFP For Water Main Move

BERLIN – Town officials agreed to seek bids for a water main relocation this week.

On Monday, the Berlin Town Council unanimously approved a request for proposals (RFP) for water improvements on Harrison Avenue. As the Berlin Beer Company prepares to open, municipal officials want to move the water line that currently runs under the building.

“With an older community we uncover situations like this,” Mayor Zack Tyndall said. “In this circumstance, the trouble is underneath the building and we’re just trying to create a best practice and move it where it should be.”

Josh Taylor of Davis, Bowen & Friedel Inc. presented the council with a draft RFP to relocate the roughly 100-year-old water main that currently runs under the former Southern States building at the intersection of Broad Street and Harrison Avenue. Because the property, which will soon be home to the Berlin Beer Company, is currently under construction, town staff said this was a good time to move the water main into Harrison Avenue, where it should be.

“We want to move forward with the bidding process,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the RFP should be advertised this week so that the work can be done soon. Once a contractor is selected, they’ll have about 45 days to get the water main relocated.

“We’ll give the contractor a 45-day contract because he’s got to get all the materials in place, but the actual work will be a matter of a week, two,” Taylor said.

Councilman Jay Knerr pointed out construction was progressing nicely at the Berlin Beer Company.

“Are they not going to have access to water?” he asked.

Water Resources Director Jamey Latchum said the building would be served by its existing water meter until the water main was relocated. Latchum said having it under the building, which was erected in 1930, was not ideal.

“We’re just trying to correct problems that should have been corrected a long time ago,” he said.

Latchum said the work would be done with a directional drill so there would be minimal damage to the road. Once it’s moved, the water main will be under Harrison Avenue.

Councilman Jack Orris asked how traffic would be impacted during construction.

Taylor said there would be single lane closures during the relocation. Latchum agreed that there would be little impact.

“We’re trying to minimize the disturbance of traffic,” he said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.