MSD begins major repair work in downtown Louisville

Inside the old pipes: Exposed reinforcement bars, toilet paper and other debris. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Inside the old pipes: Exposed reinforcement bars, toilet paper and other debris. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The project is expected to be finished by late November. (Source: WAVE 3 NEws)
The project is expected to be finished by late November. (Source: WAVE 3 NEws)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Take a drive around Louisville and you will find no shortage of orange cones, flashing lights and crews working. The Metropolitan Sewer District is doing major work on a busy part of downtown. So be prepared to deal with some traffic headaches tomorrow.

The massive MSD project could prevent a catastrophe in downtown Louisville.

If you drive over Main Street, you may not realize what is under it. There is a sewer line built in the 1950's and it is in rough shape. Inside, it looks like something from a scary movie, with exposed reinforcement bars, toilet paper and other debris inside.

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The line carried 40 percent of the waste water in Jefferson County. It could collapse again -- a different section of the same pipe caved in at Hancock and Main last August and took six weeks to repair.

MSD wants to fix the pipe under the busy commercial and tourism corridor, so they are starting work on Monday. The 20 million dollar repair project involves building a temporary "pump around" system to remove waste water flow the damaged section of the pipe.

Between Fourth Street and Seventh Street on Main, the inside of the pipe will be lined with corrosion resistant PVC panels, essentially creating a sturdy new pipe inside the damaged pipe.

This will eliminate the need to close and excavate Main Street.

There will be some detours and lane reductions for the repair and pump around for the waste water. The project will have two phases, the first starting Monday: A section of Fourth Street just south of River Road will be closed so crews can build that temporary pump station.

The project is expected to be finished by late November.

The MSD said 1200 cave-ins have happened in Jefferson County since last July.

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