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Pipe replacement restricts traffic in South Boston

Drivers traveling along Wilborn Avenue in South Boston will notice traffic may be restricted to one lane or possibly rerouted and delayed while Town of South Boston employees work to replace 860 feet of 24-inch stormwater drainage pipe.

According to South Boston Public Workers Operations Superintendent Danny McCormick, a large section of the stormwater drainage pipe running all the way up the south side of Wilborn Avenue to Edmunds Street collapsed about six weeks ago at the Leigh Street intersection.

Construction is not part of the recently completed 50/50 matching revenue sharing stormwater rehabilitation project by the town and Virginia Department of Transportation, McCormick said.

The 860 feet of old drainage pipes running along the south side of Wilborn Avenue is constructed of corrugated metal, terra cotta and steel.

Because it would be very difficult and inefficient cost-wise to marry the three types of pipes together, McCormick said the town plans to replace the collapsed drainage pipes with 24-inch concrete pipe.

It is impossible to estimate a time frame or a potential cost for replacing the drainage pipe, according to South Boston Public Works Director Alan Auld, since crews have no idea what they may encounter as they unearth the problematic sections of pipe.

“Lines may cross fiber optic lines, who knows,” the public works director said, adding, “It’s too soon to estimate a time frame for completion of the project or actual cost.” 

Work began on unearthing the collapsed pipe last week.