Woodrow Wilson Emergency Water Main Repairs

JACKSON, MS

Neel-Schaffer helps put heavily traveled road back into service

Neel-Schaffer provided engineering design and construction inspection services for an emergency repair and replacement of a 36-inch water main on Woodrow Wilson Boulevard, a heavily traveled four-lane corridor that is near downtown Jackson and feeds traffic onto Interstate 55.

Due to unseasonably dry periods, the Yazoo clay subsurface shrunk, causing the 63-year-old prestressed concrete water main to shift and move away from the concrete thrust block on a 36-inch, 90-degree bend in the median of Woodrow Wilson.

In the fall of 2015, a joint opened on the prestressed concrete water line under the road, and water began to ooze to the surface of the road. When this became hazardous, the City of Jackson closed the two eastbound lanes to traffic, and Neel-Schaffer was selected to design an emergency repair to stop the leak and save the deteriorating pavement.

Many factors made this an extremely complicated repair project.

The repair design required an intermediate line stop to help isolate the repair area so that pressure could be relieved and the flow of water could be redirected through the distribution system. Numerous checks and safeguards were made and put in place to ascertain that adequate flow and pressure could be maintained to the redirected flow for critical water users such as the nearby University of Mississippi Medical Center.

After adequate flow was ensured, an emergency declaration was made, and bids were received in January 2016. Materials, including a 36-inch line stop that required custom fabrication, were ordered.

Installation of the line stop allowed water to be diverted and repairs to commence with the removal of a section of the water main. Crews with Hemphill Construction worked 24 hours a day, in 12-hour shifts, to expedite the repairs. On February 19, 2016, repairs were complete. The line was back in service, new pavement was installed, and the roadway was re-opened to traffic.

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