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Volume 6, Issue 2                                    University of Houston

Water-pipe replacement will disrupt UH traffic

Breaking News Staff

Partial street closures will affect traffic around the University for the next few months as the city replaces water mains in the area.

The first phase of the project, which will replace outmoded clay water pipes with plastic pipes, began Dec. 15 along University Drive, Entrance 1 and Calhoun Road. Although the work will mean certain lanes of the streets will be closed, it is not expected to result in any complete closures, Associate Vice President and Vice Chancellor for Plant Operations Dave Irvin said.

The University Drive/Entrance 1 portion of the work should be complete by the first day of spring classes Jan. 20. The entire project will continue through September and will eventually affect all the streets around the campus, including Entrances 1 and 14, Irvin said.

He said the city and the project contractors haven't given details on when specific streets will be affected, but the University will work with the city to minimize traffic disruption as the work progresses.

The new plastic pipes are more durable and flexible than the clay pipes, which deteriorate and tend to break during the summer when the ground is dry, Irvin said.

"When you hear plastic, you assume that's cheaper, but the plastic pipe is a much better pipe," he said. "Any way you want to measure it, it's a much better product."

As the city's work is under way, Irvin said UH is also replacing pipes it maintains within the perimeter of the campus. The University is using deferred maintenance funds to install new plastic pipes and a valve system that allows small sections of the system to be isolated in the event of a leak or construction.

Irvin said the on-campus work should be complete by the fall.

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