Sewer line replacement downtown will impact traffic for weeks

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
The intersection of Richardson Boulevard and Sutton Avenue was closed on Jan. 19 as crews replaced sewer lines under the streets.

Sewer line replacement around downtown Black Mountain will likely impact traffic for weeks. 

Crews contracted by the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County began replacing lines under Sutton Avenue, Richardson Boulevard and South Ridgeway Avenue on Jan. 11. The project will  install new sewer lines on Broadway Avenue and Cherry Street as well. 

Black Mountain public services director Jamey Matthews has been in touch with Darin Prosser, the MSD engineer overseeing the project, since October. 

"Any time MSD is going to be doing work in town they contact us and I sign the approval giving them an encroachment to cut into our roads," Matthews said. "Then they fix the roads back when they're finished doing the work."

Motorists can expect delays during the day on Richardson, South Ridgeway and Sutton, but work on Broadway will likely be done at night, according to Matthews.

Replacement of the lines is being done using a method called pipe bursting, which allows crews to dig up less of the surface. 

"They use a boring tool that allows them to go through the old lines and bust them up from the inside," Matthews said. "Those pipes are destroyed while the tool brings the new lines in behind it."

Cherry Street will be the final phase of the project, according to Matthews.

"They're going to have to dig up the road on Cherry Street and replace it," he said. "So that work may not start until March when the weather warms up and the asphalt plants are open."