Progress on water leaks promised by city crews
That was the conclusion Monday as Public Works Director David Akin was grilled by city council members during their three-hour marathon session. (See story above).
West Ward council members Allan Miller and Toby Johnson placed the item on the agenda, noting the preponderance of leaks and street patches in recent months.
“I’ve the seen the same place patched three, four, five times,” Miller said. “When something leaks, let’s fix it right the first time, let it settle and patch it.”
MORE LEAKS—Akin said recent months have seen more leaks and more repairs than in past years.
“ We’ve fixed, and patched, over 40 places since October,” Akin said.
“We had 100 or more breaks in 2011,” he said. “That’s much more than in previous years. We’re trying to catch up.”
Akin pointed out it was more difficult to complete a repair in the winter months because “hot mix” used in the process needs to remain hot.
“And plants won’t make as much in the winter,” he said.
PRIORITIES—Johnson asked how the city prioritized streets to send repair crews.
Akin said major streets, such as Murray, Wilcox, Calhoun, Brazos and Meadow, get prior- ity. “We’re not supposed to work on Cameron (US 79), which is TxDOT’s responsibility, but we have an inter-local agreement and we will work on it when it’s needed,” he said.
Johnson said a patch on Brazos has been “a hill” for several weeks. Miller said Burleson Street, adja- cent to the police station, had remained in disrepair from a water line project for “a year.”
Akin said it was difficult to stick to a repair schedule due to the unpredictable nature of leaks.
“The drought has been a factor,” he said. “ So have these recent rains falling after so long a time without moisture.”
“And sometimes it will look like we’ve gone back down in the same place when actually there have been a couple of lines there and the second break was in another line,” he said.
“It all comes down on how to balance the manpower we’ve got,” Akin said.
Miller expressed appreciation for Akin’s efforts.