Water main project temporarily diverts campus traffic flow

Water main project temporarily diverts campus traffic flow

The intersection of 14th and Vine streets will be the center of a water main replacement project this summer. The city-led project will cause disruptions to vehicle and pedestrian traffic on City Campus.
Troy Fedderson | University Communication
The intersection of 14th and Vine streets will be the center of a water main replacement project this summer. The city-led project will cause disruptions to vehicle and pedestrian traffic on City Campus.

Water main improvements along 14th and Vine streets will impact pedestrian and vehicular traffic at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

The city project is expected to begin in earnest the week of May 14 and continue into early August. The work includes replacing water main on Vine Street from 14th to 16th streets; installing a specialized lining to reinforce existing water main on 14th Street; and replacement of the traffic signal at the 14th and Vine streets intersection.

Water main improvements along 14th and Vine streets are bringing temporary traffic changes on City Campus. The work starts in earnest the week of May 14. Click to enlarge.

Charlie Griesen, construction coordinator with the university’s utility services, said the project will cause temporary changes to hasten the work. These include closing some pedestrian walkways (primarily on the east side of 14th Street and north side of Vine Street); converting the intersection of 14th and Vine into a three-way stop via signage; eliminating access to metered parking along 14th Street; closure of the intersection of 14th and W streets; and traffic lanes shifts on both 14th and Vine streets.

“We are working with the city to make this work as painless as possible to faculty, staff and students buildings along 14th Street,” Griesen said.

The project is necessary after a spate of recent failures in the existing water main lines, said Craig Aldridge, project engineer with the city’s public works and utilities department.

Due to space limitations and the number of utility services already in place underground, the city is opting for a cured-in-place pipe lining to reinforce existing 14th Street water mains. Aldridge said that installing new pipe would force the city to relocate the water main to the middle of the street, effectively shutting down the entire roadway for the duration of the project.

The cured-in-place pipe lining option — which is a first for the city — will allow traffic access while the work is completed.

Trenchless Pipe Rehabilitation - CIPP Cured In Place Pipe
Video: Cured-in-place pipe rehabilitation process

A temporary, above ground water main will be installed on the east side of 14th Street to provide service to nearby buildings while pipe lining is being installed. Buildings along 14th Street will experience brief water outages while connections are made to the temporary water main.

Griesen said water outage notices will be issued up to 72 hours prior to work being completed. Buildings that will be affected include Hawks Hall, Military and Naval Science Building, Mabel Lee Hall, Campus Recreation Center, Utility Plant, Outdoor Adventures Center and the Harper-Schramm-Smith residence hall complex.

Water main work at the intersection of 14th and Vine streets is scheduled for completion by June 22, allowing for the installation of a new traffic signal before the fall semester begins. The existing traffic signal has already been removed and the intersection is being controlled via a temporary three-way stop.

Work along Vine Street will install new water main pipes via traditional underground bore. The project allows for two-way traffic on the roadway during construction.

The entire project is scheduled for completion before classes begin in August.