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In response to a letter published Dec. 1 regarding repairs to water lines on the eastbound lane on Route 5 between Athol Springs and the Ford Motor Plant, several points must be mentioned to clarify the situation.

The water line referred to was installed in 1918 by the Western New York Water Company, the previous water supplier for much of Erie County until 1953 when the Erie County Water Authority came into existence. Because of its age, there have been several repairs made to this water main in the last few years.

The majority of repairs have been made to the joints, which connect one pipe to the next. These joints are located at about 18-foot intervals, making it appear that the Water Authority is digging in the same area repeatedly when, indeed, it is a different repair altogether.

Any repairs made by the Water Authority during the winter months, which is when a vast number of our leaks take place, have to be cold patched or repaired temporarily because asphalt cannot be laid during the cold weather. Sometimes the temporary repair does not hold up and must be adjusted continually until permanent pavement restoration is completed in the spring.

There have been many road-widening projects completed since this water line was installed, leaving the pipe located in the middle of Route 5. The line should have been relocated years ago when Route 5 was expanded.

The Water Authority is aware that this, along with the frequency of repairs and the problem of potholes, has been a major nuisance to drivers.

To solve the problem, the Water Authority is planning to replace and relocate this water line. The project's design is complete, with bidding expected to take place in January. Construction should begin in April and should be completed in October.

Until then, the Water Authority will do its best to repair leaks and continue to monitor temporary repairs, making any necessary adjustments.

Erie County Water Authority

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