ARLINGTON >> The improvements to the Arlington water system are continuing as planned, and could lead to significant driving delays in the center of town over the next few weeks.
Select board chairman Keith Squires updated the community to the status of the project at the board's July 11 meeting. "About two weeks ago now," he said, "they put the tube and pipe under Route 7A, to tie in Church Street and the line coming down by the Arlington Inn. That went well, and wasn't any problem at all. They started from that point, coming south on Church Street. That's pretty well in. They got down to the end, and now what they're doing is, they went over to the intersection of Russell Street and 7A and made the connection down there to existing pipe, and they're coming back and they'll tie Church Street together from that end down there."
"Basically, what they're doing," he continued, "is they have to go through a step-by-step process in order to make it all work. So, they have to have a source of water. That's what they're going to get down Russell Street. At the same time, they have to maintain water to everybody in the area. So that was kind of the trick to that one."
After the voters approved the town's $4 million bond request to purchase the Arlington Water Company in March, $1.65 million of that went to purchasing the company with the rest earmarked for infrastructure repairs and improvements. In May, the Select Board accepted a bid from Zaluzny Excavating Company, of Vernon, to be the project's lead contractor. Zaluzny is working with Jason Booth, of Aldrich and Elliott Water Resource Engineers. The total cost of these improvements and repairs is expected to be $1.71 million.
The Arlington Water Company has about 510 direct users, including the Arlington's library, town offices, and schools, with about 40 in the town of Sunderland. The board has remained confident that the bond, which will be paid back over 30 years, will be paid by water department revenues, and that no tax increases will be necessary.
After completing the Church Street connection, said Squires, "they'll finish the line up to Arlington Inn, so that will be a complete section all the way around. Then, they'll have to flush that out, chlorinate it. You've got to have at least two good water samples. Once all that's complete, they'll start making the connections to individual houses." He said that residents should not expect to see long periods where their water is off, as each new connection would be made individually, and would only take an hour or two.
He said on July 11 that the construction crews would spend about two more weeks on Route 71, before jumping over to East Arlington Road, although he noted that the project has already been slowed several times due to the presence of large rocks underground. On Tuesday of this week, the town posted an update on their Facebook page saying, "Expect Delays in the center of Town for the rest of this week and next. We thank you for your patience while we complete the much needed upgrade to the Arlington Water System."
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.