EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A section of Riverside Drive will be closing for at least a week in April.
Starting April 2, Riverside Dr., between Cherry St. and Shawnee Dr., will be closing for 7 to 10 days.
The closure is so crews can replace water pipes in the area.
There will be a marked detour route, but drivers are encouraged to avoid the area.
Water Superintendent Patrick Keepes says he wants to get the word out as early as possible about the impact of these repairs.
“It’s a very critical line. I can’t stress the importance of this,” says Keepes.
Keepes says they are crucial to the security of the city’s largest water line.
“This line serves about 50% of our population, so we’re being very aggressive in doing these repairs. It’s not a line that we could afford and have break on us. We want to get ahead of it before anything happens to this line,” says Keepes.
The current pipes are 65 years old. The new pipes will replace the three sections of the 36-inch diameter water transmission line.
In August, the water department conducted leak detection and integrity testing on the transmission line. The testing identified three locations where potential issues were found.
“We are going to close the road and hopefully divert as much traffic as we can. Even though we will have a marked detour in place, we are discouraging folks from going through this area. We would like for them to find alternate routes. We will have advance message boards set up,” says Keepes.
The transmission line feeds water to many areas of the city’s North and West Sides.
“Failure wasn’t an option. We could not wait for this line to fail. We had to get ahead of it and make sure that we were doing our due diligence in keeping water to our customers and avoiding any potential catastrophes,” says Keepes.
The worst case scenario of a break, Keepes says, would be widespread water restrictions.
This project is also closing a portion of Ingle Street.