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Water leak repairs completed on Chester Avenue

After several years of residents experiencing the splashing of water on their cars when traveling on Chester Avenue, the water leak problem is now resolved.

“There was an underground spring that was not really underground but instead bubbles up,” explained Street Department Superintendent Kevin Barnett. “The former administration put a tile from Longwood to down to Chester, and there wasn’t a way for the spring water to get into the tile.”

Barnett said he and his department cut the tile out and put a ‘Y’ pipe in so the water could get into it.

“There wasn’t hardly any water going into the old tile,” he said. “Old Chester Avenue has a concrete base. If you dig down from the blacktop it turns into concrete, solid concrete, about six inches thick. When the former administration found the old concrete, they stopped putting the plastic and just tied on to the old 100-year-old clay pipe.”

According to Barnett, the 100-year-old clay pipe was all in pieces because the water would come up and get between the concrete and blacktop, and it was lifting the road up. That was allowing the water to go everywhere.

“We had to dig it all up and jackhammer all the old concrete out and put a new tile in,” Barnett explained. “It took us two days of jackhammering, tile cutting and backhoe work, but the repairs are completed.”

Five street department employees along with the help of inmates completed the work.

“There is plastic pipe all the way from Longwood all the way over to the corner of the drain box where it is supposed to go,” Barnett said. “There should be no unexpected surprises in the future.”

This spring, the street department plans to blacktop the road and repave the section that has been repaired. That will require the road to be blocked off, but the city of Middlesboro and the street department will make the announcement when the paving is expected to take place.