Crews from a Burlington construction crew were expected to begin replacing a water main along Elsie Street near Barrie Elementary School Friday afternoon after an emergency meeting of the Fort Atkinson City Council.

Fort Atkinson city engineer Andy Selle said water utility crews were on the scene of a water main break on Friday, Oct. 5, around 2 p.m. on Elsie Street near its intersection with Roosevelt Street.

“Every time they would put the patch on, they would pack up and walk away and the water would start bubbling back up through the street,” Selle said. “It just got to a point where they determined we would have to replace the main because the main is fairly rotten in that particular area.”

He said the crews tried to patch the main at least five times before having to give up around 1 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6

The city engineer said the options were to continue seeking “good” main further up the street or replacing the entire 600-foot section of main between Lucille and Roosevelt streets.

“Since it is two-inch main and is quite old, I chose to just go ahead and replace it,” Selle said. “It ... is too small to continue to try and patch.”

The two-inch water main dates back to sometime in the 1930s.

The replacement pipe will be a six-inch main.

However, to move forward with the project without putting it through the bidding process, Selle needed the Fort Atkinson City Council to declare this an emergency project. With that designation, under state statutes, the city can forgo the traditional bidding regulations.

The emergency meeting was set for 12:30 p.m. today, Friday,to approve a contract with Bradford Contractors LLC of Burlington.

Selle said the contract was for approximately $80,000 and he anticipates an additional $5,000 for materials.

At presstime, he had not determined an estimate for patching the street with asphalt. The council will consider those costs as part of the overall contract at the meeting.

Selle noted that unfortunately, the pavement on Elsie Street is relatively new. The street was pulverized and new asphalt was put down in 2014.

“I’m hoping to be somewhat surgical with the replacement,” Selle said.

Meanwhile, the old main has remained active and water has been flowing to all the homes it services.

Selle said water continues to bubble up on Elsie Street and running down the gutter into the stormsewer system.

Residents in the area have been notified of the situation.

Work on the project is expected to begin immediately after the council approves the contract and the homes’ water service will be switched over to a temporary service that will set up with pipes and hoses.

“They will remain with water for the duration of the project,” Selle said.

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