City awards major utility contracts

By Tom Joyce -

Mount Airy officials have awarded a pair of utility contracts, totaling about $1.5 million, which target water and sewer system improvements.

One of the projects approved unanimously during a meeting of the city commissioners last Thursday night involves the Factory Street area that is home to key industrial and business operations.

It will include the replacement of aging and undersized water lines and improvements to service connections and hydrants in that section. In addition to Factory Street, city officials have said that lines are to be replaced along Pine, Derby, Granite, Durham and Marshall streets.

They say important businesses and industries in the area are underserved by smaller and older lines, some of which date to the 1920s. The Hanesbrands Inc. plant on West Pine Street is among the entities to be served.

The commissioners awarded a $999,624 contract to North State Water and Sewer Inc. of Winston-Salem, which submitted the lowest of three bids received for the project. The highest, $2,265,860, came from Jimmy R. Lynch and Sons Inc. of Pilot Mountain.

A total budget figure of $1.1 million was approved for the job, to include contingency funding for unforeseen problems.

Mount Airy was awarded a $300,000 grant last year from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for the Factory Street Area Water Systems Improvement Project, with the remainder of funds needed to be supplied by the municipality.

The new water lines to be installed will range in size from a 6-inch diameter on a few smaller streets in the project area to a 12-inch diameter in more critical areas.

A new 8-inch line on Derby Street will serve Hanesbrands, while a new 10-inch line on Factory Street is to accommodate medical and business facilities along with residences in that vicinity.

The larger lines will increase the capacity of key stretches of the water system.

Improvements along Pine Street will create a looped water-distribution system that will replace several dead-end lines and improve supply reliability.

Water-sewer rehabilitation

The other utility project approved is for water-sewer line replacements on London Lane and William Penn Street.

A $410,885 contract was awarded to Steve Tate and Son Inc. of Mount Airy for that work, along with contingency funding for a total appropriation of $450,000.

Funding for the project has been included in the city budget.

Its purpose is to replace 4-inch cast-iron water lines that have suffered several failures recently and address water-quality issues along London Lane and William Penn Street, which are located off South Main Street.

The project further will include the replacement of sewer lines in that area which are in need of repair.

Steve Tate and Son was the only company bidding on the job despite it being advertised twice by city personnel.

“It was a little higher,” Public Works Director Jeff Boyles said of the cost of the utility improvements compared to the original estimate.

Boyles explained that this reflects the present “construction environment” of companies being busier than in years past and more selective with projects.

By Tom Joyce

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.