Stormwater funds used to replace pipe in Salisbury

Published 12:10 am Friday, March 10, 2023

SALISBURY — Thanks to contributions from the people of Salisbury, workers on a construction project are breaking ground — literally.

Stormwater funds have been used to help replace more than 200 feet of old, underground piping with a new, high-density polyethylene plastic piping along the 200 block of North Ellis Street.

“It’s lighter to use. It’s still structural. It’s a more modern day pipe compared to that old terra cotta clay pipe that’s failed,” Public Works Administrative Services Manager Michael Hanna said.

About a year ago, the old pipe failed due to old age. Where current pipes merge it forms an intersection, but there is no easy way for workers to get to them, making it difficult to maintain. To help with this, the city will also be adding accessible junction boxes.

“We’re putting boxes in the ground where the pipes will come into a box and we’ll have a manhole that we’ll be able to access where all the pipes come together. That way you can keep the pipes clean,” Hanna said.

The funds for this come from Salisbury’s Stormwater Fund, which all residents, both private and commercial, contribute to when paying their water bills.

The city maintains the drains and pipes on city property, but private property owners are responsible for maintaining stormwater conveyance on their property.

The work began Feb. 27 and the timeframe for completion is four to eight weeks.

According to Hanna, it is pretty “open ended” on when exactly it will be done. With much of Salisbury’s infrastructure being so old and the pipe being so close to downtown, additional issues with the project are somewhat expected. An old concrete road was found underneath the pipe, already causing delays.

A job like this is not always as simple as it sounds.

“It’s pretty complicated because you’re dealing with grades, dealing with other infrastructure coming into play. … It’s always a challenge, and thankfully with our crews, they’re able to meet those challenges,” Hanna said.