The Elkhart Common Council dedicated $2.8 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding to two city infrastructure projects at its meeting on Aug. 2.
The first project, estimated to cost $1.8 million, will combine and replace two parallel water mains on North Main Street between Jackson Boulevard and the St. Joseph River.
The water mains date back to the 1920s, and are high on the city’s list of priorities to replace. Replacing the accompanying section of roadway is also a priority for the city’s streets department.
The project will also install a new sewer force main at the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Main Street to allow the intersection to remain open during a future project. Storm sewers will be installed within the project limit, and any lead service lines will be eliminated.
The second project, at the intersection of Jackson Boulevard, Johnson Street and Prairie Street, will extend approximately 500 feet of water main to an area that is currently not connected to city water.
The city says the project –– estimated to cost $1 million –– will enhance fire protection in the area and help with the continued economic development of the River District. It will also replace traffic signals at the intersection, which the city says is its busiest.
The funding comes from the $18 million Elkhart received from the American Rescue Plan Act. Federal guidelines say the money can be used to “support urgent COVID-19 response efforts, support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses, replace lost government revenue and address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic.”
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