Frankfort Avenue Main Replacement Project reveals a (cast iron) blast from the past

Watch video of crews uncovering an 1877 water pipe

Louisville Water Company’s yearlong Frankfort Avenue Main Replacement Project in the Crescent Hill neighborhood has construction crews digging up more than just the street. Excavation for a new 60-inch diameter water main also uncovered a significant piece of history along Frankfort Avenue.

A 36-inch diameter supply line is seeing the light of day for the first time in over 144 years. Crews are removing one of the oldest mains in the company’s system, so they can install a new, larger main. This historic cast iron pipe still has the 1877 foundry mark and the manufacturer’s name, U.S. Pipe Company.

In this construction video, see Louisville Water removing the old pipe, showing off the 1877 discovery, and installing new pipe.

The underground pipe was installed the same year Rutherford B. Hayes was president and Thomas Edison introduced the phonograph. Louisville Water’s Vice President of Communications and Marketing Kelley Dearing Smith says this important piece of history will live on.

“We’re working on plans to display a section of the 1877 pipe at Louisville Water Tower Park in the WaterWorks Museum,” said Smith “It’s an important part of Louisville Water’s history and was a vital part of our city’s growth.”

This video animation provides a glimpse into Louisville Water’s historic beginnings in the Crescent Hill area, which has grown into vibrant neighborhood with many local shops. During construction, businesses along Frankfort Avenue remain open.

More on the Frankfort Avenue Main Replacement Project
Construction began last month to replace critical water mains near Louisville Water’s Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant. The $13.2 million investment includes work on Frankfort, Stilz, and Reservoir Avenues and ensures the continued delivery of reliable service and the company’s high-quality drinking water, Louisville Pure Tap™. For the latest information on the project.

Workers in 1877 laying the 36-inch diameter pipe on Frankfort Avenue.