Downtown construction leaves residents without water

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita city crews have had to shut down streets to fix aging pipes. The work is focused in the downtown area causing nearly 100 residents to lose running water for a day.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve received a notice that the water would be shut off,” said Jeremy McTaggart, downtown resident.

The base of this work is centered at Central and Waco, completely closing down eastbound Central Avenue between Waco and Veterans Parkway. Tuesday, KSN spoke with people who live and work in the area as well as the city to find out how long they expect the construction to go on.

“It’s definitely an inconvenience,” said McTaggart. “With this road being closed, you have to kind of get creative in how you come and go wherever you’re headed.”

Another resident in the area shared the same concerns.

“I used to be able to just drive straight through Central and get on I-135 and now I have to go around,” said Evan Poole.

Some downtown residents told me they’ve received several notices over the last few months, warning them that their water would be shut off for the day. They said at this point, they’re hoping the construction won’t last much longer.

“I’d like it if I saw people out here working on it,” explained Poole. “The fact that it’s midday right now and there’s nobody out here. They can at least be getting something done.”

However, Steve Degenhardt, who is the construction division manager says the bigger job is under the surface.

“They’ve got crews that are in the ground installing new water main pipes,” explained Degenhardt.

These main pipes were originally installed in the 30’s, and currently contractors are working on replacing an again infrastructure.

“Obviously, 80 years old, it is prone to leaks, and with the water main leak and water main break, it certainly can impact some local businesses and even some important buildings such as the county courthouse and city hall itself,” said Degenhardt.

Degenhardt said the work around Central and Waco will be complete in three weeks.

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