Sewer line work to close Cherry Street to cars

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
MSD will be conducting routine maintenance on sewer lines on Cherry Street over the next several weeks.

Work by the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County will result in Cherry Street being off-limits to vehicular traffic in the coming weeks, but exact dates of closure are unknown. 

Shops and sidewalks along Cherry Street will remain open while the work on the sewer lines is being done, however. 

Black Mountain's public service director Jamey Matthews said the work is part of the MSD's sewer rehabilitation project downtown. Work began on Sutton Avenue, Richardson Boulevard and South Ridgeway Avenue on Jan. 11. 

The project will shift to Cherry Street next, Matthews said. 

A pipe bursting method will be used to break down old sewer lines while replacing them with new ones. The work on Cherry Street was originally set to occur at night, Matthews said, but the MSD's plans changed. 

"The business owners along Cherry Street know this will be happening, but we want to get the word out to the public," Matthews said. 

Matthews said there is no way to determine when exactly the work will begin.

"There are too many potentially unforeseen issues," he said. "Weather can play a role, and once you cut into the street and get in there you have no idea what you'll run into."

In addition to replacing the lines, the MSD will also add new sewage taps, according to Matthews, who has been coordinating with the organization's project manager Darin Presser. Matthews' public services department will then replace water taps along the road while they are accessible. 

The town of Black Mountain issued this Code Red alert on its website and Facebook page on Feb. 28 to alert affected water customers on Cherry Street. Customers could experience issues with water pressure and quality during the work. 

"Customers could also experience temporary outages," Matthews said. "When the water returns, if it comes out cloudy or dingy, we advise that you let your cold water run until it clears."