Infrastructure Update: Improvements continue across City

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There are several ongoing projects in the City of Natchitoches to improve the infrastructure. The first is a progressive project that will increase water flow, quality and controllability and line size for more water pressure. Construction is currently set up at the St. Denis and Second Street intersection. This phase will allow for future line replacement down St. Denis.

Work to replace the water lines in this area of the City first began at Lafayette Street. It will continue down Second Street in sections until it reaches Amulet, which is estimated to take 2-3 years.

Another project motorists might have noticed is the installation of a new water line from Keyser Avenue across Cane River to Jefferson Street. This new line will bring better water quality and pressure to East Natchitoches, along South Williams and the surrounding area. Workers are tapping into a main water line that leads directly to the plant. This means they can get fresher water across a the river much faster.

In an effort to improve water quality, a new intake structure on Sibley Lake is being installed. The higher the intake valve is from the bottom of the lake, the smaller concentration there is of the manganese sediment that causes the brown water coloration. A dam was built around the intake structure and the next step is to drain the water from inside the dam and set up a temporary intake structure while a contractor disables the old one and installs the new one.

To improve the overall water quality, the City is about 90 percent of the way through with a flush of its water system.

A recent City Council agenda item authorized the City to advertise for bids for storm drain replacement on Henry Avenue. The old drainage system is beginning to collapse under the weight of vehicles and the City will replace all the drainage lines from East Second to Williams Avenue.

Work is ongoing with the Hwy. 1 South and Bypass expansion project to create a ring bus system for the City’s power supply. Workers are waiting for electric panels and breakers to come in and it’s projected to take around a year to get everything in place.

Another ongoing project is the installation of intel-rupter switches, which would automatically test the lines when a feed is lost from one substation and switch it over to another substation to get power restored quicker.

Birds are a big problem when it comes to the City’s power grid. Imagine a flock of birds resting on a power line. Too many birds on the wire can cause a flash fire, resulting in burnt pole and power lines. Screamer sirens can be used to decrease the bird problem at the substations.