State loan will help replace aging water lines in Latrobe | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

State loan will help replace aging water lines in Latrobe

Jeff Himler
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Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
The city of Latrobe municipal building, at Jefferson and Main streets.

Latrobe Municipal Authority has been awarded a $2.69 million state loan to replace aging water lines in areas of downtown Latrobe where PennDOT plans to improve several intersections next year.

The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority on Wednesday approved the loan for a 20-year term with a 1% interest rate.

The project will replace approximately 7,000 feet of 100-year-old cast iron water lines in areas including the intersection of Main and Ligonier streets and sections of Weldon and Spring streets, according to authority consultant Gibson-Thomas Engineering. The line replacements are expected to reduce unaccounted-for water loss and will prepare the way for PennDOT’s 2020 intersection work.

Bids have yet to be awarded for improvements to nine intersections along Ligonier, Main and Depot streets, with work anticipated next spring, according to Michael Gray, Latrobe’s city manager.

The intersections will gain fresh pavement, updated traffic signals and curb ramps that comply with handicapped-accessibility regulations. Additional state multimodal program funding will cover inclusion of thermoplastic crosswalks, Gray said. “The materials are baked into the asphalt so they’re less susceptible to wearing,” he explained.

The Latrobe authority doesn’t expect the loan debt service will prompt any additional fee or rate increase for its water customers, said Chris Bova, environmental control supervisor. But, he said, “We’re going to have to keep an eye on it.”

Without the loan, Latrobe municipal customers might have seen their fees increase by nearly 35 percent to cover costs of the line replacement costs, which are expected to begin in mid-September, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca said in a press release.

Water tank will be out of service

The authority also announced this week that it is beginning work on draining and repainting its St. Mary’s water tank along Donohoe Road. According to an authority advisory, the tank will be out of service for several months and is likely to result in service disruptions, including changes in water pressure and dirty water, caused by directional changes in water flow to the area.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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