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story.lead_photo.caption Bernie Nadler, left, probes the dirt as Jason McDonald uses a locator to find utility lines during sewer construction at the corner of Nieman and Halifax roads in Holts Summit. Photo by India Garrish / Fulton Sun.

Holts Summit's project to update and connect its sewer system to Jefferson City continued Tuesday at the intersection of Nieman and Halifax roads, where crews worked with an uncovered pit unearthing the road and locating utility lines.

After a water line was discovered last week to be closer than 10 feet from the main water line, a change order — approved at last Friday's emergency Board of Aldermen meeting — was requested, adding $19,815 to the nearly $6 million contract with Ryan Construction. The extra funds will be used to install a restraint joining pipe, which will be necessary for the restrictions of the construction.

Restraint joint pipes are similar to those used in gas lines: they couple two pipes together instead of just sliding them together and include a mechanical piece that locks and keeps it from rocks that could damage the line. Once the restraint joint arrives, it will be pressure-tested before it goes into service.

Sewer Department Superintendent Keith Edwards said they have 800 feet of work to go before putting in the restrained joint pipe, which will take about four to five days. Flaggers will continue to direct traffic, and traffic lights will be set up at night to control traffic after hours.

They hope to have the entire sewer project done by January 2022. So far, there haven't been delays due to COVID-19.

"There haven't been any major delays yet, but once we get into the fall and winter with rain and snow, there's going to be delays because there will be days (the crew) can't work," Edwards said.

There have been multiple change orders in the span of the project so funds could be reallocated and the project stays on track. City Administrator Hanna Lechner said the city reallocated the nearly $20,000 change order from grant funds that had been removed from other projects, and there will probably be more change orders to come.

Lechner said they called the emergency meeting to make sure pipes were priced correctly, as hurricanes in other parts of the country had affected costs.

"As long as what's going on in the South doesn't change materials hopefully the project will be done by Thanksgiving," Lechner said.

In the future, as construction crosses over Nieman Road, parts of the road will be shut down for a few hours at a time. Construction crews will notify the city when closings occur so the public can be made aware, and there will continue to be flaggers and traffic lights to direct traffic.

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