Pandemic Forces Temporary Halt to Pipe Installation on Major Local Project

Mar 5, 2021

Credit Steve Burger / WNIN

Pandemic issues at a Texas company are causing delay of the First Avenue water main replacement.

By now, contractors for the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility had hoped to be digging up First Avenue to install a new thirty six inch water main as part of an eight million dollar project to get better water service to northern areas of Evansville and Vanderburgh County.

Instead, the pipes are sitting on a work site, waiting for special fittings from a Texas company, Tyler Union, before they can be installed.

Mike Labitzke is director of the program management office for the water utility. He says the fittings are being held up by pandemic-caused production issues at Tyler Union.

“We really can’t lay one piece of pipe without the fittings, so, it’s a very critical item and it’s really delaying the start of construction.”

Labitzke says they hope to have the fittings by the end of March.

A request for comment from Tyler Union has not been answered. Labitzke says he does not expect the delay to change the overall time line for the First Avenue water project.