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Benton repairing streets and water lines

BENTON (WSIL) — More than two weeks after a water line ruptured in north Benton, city officials say they’re working on replacing a decades-old pipe just blocks away from the water main break.

"The northbound lane will be closed so it will be down to two lanes: the center lane and the southbound lane," water superintendent Craig Miles said about the upcoming work starting Monday on Route 37 between Joplin and Washington streets. Work is expected to last at least a month.

A new plastic pipe will replace a rusted and corroded 10-inch cast-iron pipe that was installed in the 1950s. Miles says the new pipe will cost the city about $300,000 and should last about 80 years while also eliminating the possibility of lead exposure. He adds that customers shouldn’t worry about the work affecting services.

"They should never be out of water. We’ll go in and lay a new line and make all the connections. They’ll be transferred over one at a time as the line passes inspection."

Meanwhile, students who use Main Street to get to Benton Consolidated High School won’t have to worry about having their vehicles damaged on a specific stretch of road.

A portion of Main Street, where a set of abandoned, disconnected railroad tracks lie, was smoothed and patched up Thursday after city leaders received permission from Union Pacific. Street commissioner Lee Messersmith says the work was done just one hour after getting permission.

"People were blowing tires, busting rims and having automotive problems," Messersmith said. "It’s not a permanent solution, but it’s one that fills it, it smooths it out, and especially right before school starting."

Messersmith says there’s more work coming near a set of railroad tracks on Wastena Street across from city hall. Work is expected to start next week but a date has not been set.

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