State grants Louisville Water $8.3 million in infrastructure funding
A boost of funding will help Louisville Water Company replace one of its oldest water mains in Louisville plus bring drinking water service to rural areas. Over the past week, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has awarded Louisville Water $8.3 million for planned infrastructure investments in Jefferson, Bullitt and Oldham counties. Funding comes from the Better Kentucky Plan’s $250 million Cleaner Water Program. Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), the funding for the Cleaner Water Program was appropriated at the close of the 2021 General Assembly through a bi-partisan agreement for clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky.
In Jefferson County, Louisville Water will receive $7 million for two projects that will repair or replace aging cast-iron water mains in its service area that will soon reach the end of their efficiency. These two projects will also create an estimated 118 jobs.
“Louisville Water delivers the highest quality drinking water to nearly one million people every day,” said Spencer Bruce, Louisville Water President & CEO. “And we do that with more than 4,200 miles of pipe. Just like taking care of your own property, we must maintain our infrastructure to ensure reliability – that our water is there when people need it. And we are thankful for this funding from the state to help with maintaining our critical infrastructure.”
State funding will cover the West Muhammad Ali Project, which will improve reliability of water service in the West End of Jefferson County. This project will replace more than 1.4 miles of aging water main and will start in the spring of 2022, lasting approximately eight months.
The second project this funding will help is the Oak Street Project, which will benefit thousands of people in Louisville Water’s service area. This water main was installed in 1892 and is a 48-inch diameter pipe that helps take water from the Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant to downtown and the southern parts of the service area. This is a multi-year plan replacing 3.8 miles of pipe. The state award covers about one-third of the project, and Phase 1 will start in April 2022.
A section of that pipe that goes along Oak and Shelby broke in December 2017, which is why this project has been in the planning stages for Louisville Water. When this water main was installed more than 100 years ago, the pipe actually sat above ground, in the midst of a cattle farm. Louisville Water’s archives include photos of the installation.
State funding will also help Louisville Water bring safe drinking water service to some rural areas. In Bullitt County, nearly two dozen homeowners will finally have access to public drinking water, thanks to $601,010 in funding for two projects. The company will use the funds to install a water main along John Lee Road and another one on Eagles Road, and this work is expected to start in early 2022. And in Oldham County, Louisville Water will receive $736,000 in funding for a project that will extend water service along South Highway 1694. This project will help seven properties get access to public drinking water and work is expected to start in the summer of 2022.
Infrastructure investment is a large part of Louisville Water’s planning and budget. In fact, it has the largest dollar amounts in Louisville Water’s capital spending plan. The company routinely inspects and tracks its water mains and assesses when a pipe needs replacing or rehabilitation. A recent example of this planning is the Frankfort Avenue Main Replacement Project that was started in August.
Louisville Water will keep the immediate neighbors and those who travel along the routes of these projects up-to-date through mailings, social media, emails, media briefings, and virtual/face-to-face meetings. Customers will not lose water service during these repairs and replacements.
See more: Repair uncovers 130-year-old pipe (2021)