Downtown Loop Water Main & Meter Upgrades

Durham Downtown Loop Waterline Replacement Project – Recap & Highlights

After almost two years, many miles of progress, and tens of thousands of man-hours logged, the finish line is in sight for Durham’s Downtown Loop Waterline Replacement project.

The City of Durham, and surely everyone who lives, works, and plays downtown, is excited to see this extensive yet essential project begin to wrap up. To help celebrate its many successes, we want to highlight some of the facts and figures achieved along the way.

As its name implies, the Durham Downtown Loop Waterline Replacement Project replaced quite a bit of waterline. Within the loop, crews installed approximately 12,000 linear feet of six to 16-inch line. That’s about 4.5 miles of old and new line, or a walk from Durham Bulls Athletic Park to Research Triangle Park. Bring some water for that hike!

In order to reach those buried 1930s-era water lines, workers had to dig up either a portion or the entire width of road, depending on how each segment of line was originally installed. Therefore, more than two miles of Downtown Loop corridor roads were resurfaced. Equally impressive, some 8,000 tons – 16 million pounds – of asphalt has been used to date. This doesn’t even include the asphalt NCDOT workers placed on Morgan and Great Jones streets. About 400,000 pounds of new waterlines were installed, with a capacity of approximately 70,000 gallons of water.

August 18, 2016 marks day 710 of construction. All waterlines in the original project area have been replaced, and miscellaneous pavement and surface restoration tasks, including additional sidewalk repairs, remain. Roney and East Main streets were added to the project, and work on these streets continues.

These reliable new waterlines are sized to minimize pipeline breaks and unplanned service outages, while meeting current and future water demands in downtown Durham for many years to come. Speaking of reliability, here’s a fun piece of trivia. You thought the water pipes were old? Many of the fire hydrants replaced along the downtown loop during this project predate those original waterlines not just by years, but decades, with manufacture dates going as far back as 1906.
Contact Information
  • City of Durham Water Management: Bryant Green
    Phone: 919-560-4381, ext. 35268
  • JF Wilkerson Contracting Company, Inc: John Patrick
    Phone: 919-467-1829, ext. 8
  • Kimley-Horn and Associates: Jeremy Rivenbark
    Phone: 919-678-4133
  • Kimley-Horn and Associates: Nolan Raney
    Phone: 919-653-6625
About the Project
The Durham Downtown Loop Waterline Replacement Project (PDF) will replace more than 12,000 linear feet of 1930s era water mains in Durham’s downtown loop area to improve service delivery. Previous public meetings regarding the project were held to notify the public and address concerns as the project nears construction. When construction begins, there will be changes in traffic patterns, detours, and limited access to properties in the Downtown Loop area.

Some of the work scheduled for weekends will require a full closure of Mangum Street. To assist patrons making the trip downtown, please use this routing map to identify alternate routes to parking areas. Please note that the sidewalks between parking areas and businesses downtown remain open.

The city’s contractor will be required to maintain access to residences and businesses at all times, though on-street parking and pedestrian access may be obstructed due to the work area or traffic detours. All property owners will be notified in advance of construction near their property; this includes any planned water service disruptions. Sound levels near active construction areas are anticipated to range between 70 and 90 decibels. Due to traffic control constraints, it will be necessary to conduct some work in high-traffic areas during overnight hours. In addition to public meetings, affected property owners, residents, and visitors to the downtown area will be notified with door-hangers, postcards, signage, and social media alerts.

Contact any of the project coordinators listed on this page with any questions. Interested parties are encouraged to attend the informational meeting to learn more about the project such as transportation or other impacts. Check the website for the meeting date or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Condition of Existing Waterlines
Waterline Crossing Many Existing Utilities
Typical Waterline Installation