Benton Harbor starts accepting bids to replace lead pipes | The Daily Reporter – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-12-01 10:45:39 –

On Monday, a new water pipe will be installed in a house along Ogden Avenue in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Benton Harbor leaders announced on Monday that the city is accepting bids from contractors for an ambitious project to replace all lead water pipes by 2023. (Don Campbell / Herald via AP file-Palladium)

Associated Press

Lansing, Michigan (AP) — Benton Harbor leaders from an ambitious project contractor to replace all lead water pipes by 2023 due to rising levels of toxic metals in the city’s supply on Monday. Announced that it is accepting bids for.

Beyond the “action level” of lead, an estimated 2,800 service lines will need to be removed in 14 to 15 years under federal and state regulations for three years. Governor Gretchen Whitmer promised to spend millions of dollars last month to replace them in 18 months.

Benton Harbor officially invited a bid last week and announced details of the plan on Monday.

“I’m very excited to make that announcement in this city. I know I’m happy to receive it,” Mayor Marcus Muhammad said in an interview.

Residents of the poor, predominantly black community are encouraged to use bottled water for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, rinsing food, and mixing powdered milk.

Muhammad said he expects contractors to line up to bid on the job.

“Whenever there’s $ 30 million on the table, it’s like a gold rush, because there’s no better example,” he said.

Enterprises need to use trenchless technology to minimize asset disruption. They need to restore driveway, sidewalk, and landscaping conditions. And there are incentives and penalties to ensure that work is done well and on time.

“We have planned to act swiftly as a model for Michigan and other communities across the country, focusing on collaboration and expertise across the public and private sectors,” said State Environmental Justice. Regina Strong, a public advocate, said. Benton Harbor is another example of a resource-poor community with dilapidated infrastructure, she said.

Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency instructed the city to improve corrosion protection, repair filters in treatment plants, and notify residents of lead excesses.

The Whitmer administration estimates that it will cost $ 30 million to replace all 6,000 service lines, many of which are made of lead or unknown materials. The state has donated $ 10 million. The city has also received $ 8.6 million in federal grants and loans for pipe exchanges.

Muhammad estimates that it costs an average of $ 5,000 to replace each lead.

“We are where we want to be,” he said of the funding so far.

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