Charlotte and Mecklenburg County keep growing and growing, and because of that, more water pipes are needed to serve these growing areas. One particular area is the eastern part of Charlotte. Amy Vershel, Senior Engineering Project Manager, shares the details of this collaborative project to support the growth in our community.
Charlotte Water (CLTWater) needed to add drinking water pipes from Idlewild Road (at East W.T. Harris Boulevard) along W.T. Harris Boulevard, Hickory Grove Road, Highland Avenue, and Plott Road to a water storage tank off of Plaza Road Extension. This project is needed to maintain water quality and reliable service for current and future customers.
During the design phase, dense housing development, other existing underground utilities, and NCDOT pavement restrictions within the proposed pipe alignment required that a portion of the alignment cross the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation (MCPR) Reedy Creek Nature Preserve, a 1000-acre forested habitat and biodiversity center. At the same time, MCPR was engaging Nature Preserve stakeholders in an 18-month planning process to design a greenway in this same corridor.
To avoid significant impacts to critical woodland habitat within the Nature Preserve, the team worked together to find solutions that helped align the new pipe under the greenway trail.
The goal was to avoid large trees and rock outcroppings. Seems simple, right? Not exactly. This required changes in how the water pipe was designed and installed. Some of the changes required weighing the needs of the water system project compared to minimizing impact to the Nature Preserve.
Regular meetings, field walks, alignment tweaks, and special provisions successfully mitigated impacts to both the water system and wildlife habitat. This phase of the project will be in service by the end of 2023. Exemplary collaboration and innovative thinking enabled our interagency team to deliver an enhanced public utility and recreation resource that will build equity, ecological resilience, and community to the residents of Charlotte.
Pipe: 31,300-foot long, 36-inch diameter water transmission main
Cost: $55 million
Duration 36+ months
For more information, please visit our project website : https://charlottenc.gov/Projects/Pages/WTHarrisPlottRoadWaterMainProject.aspx