Fillmore water-line project concerns
       Thank you for giving us the low-down on the construction on Fillmore Street west of I-25 (“New project on Fillmore: Springs Utilities begins trenching for water line down hill,” Westside Pioneer, Sept. 26). We saw the mess and read the signs, but were curious what it was all about. I would like a bit of clarification. Can someone explain to me why anyone thinks it's a good idea to bury a water line under a busy street?
       My first objection to this idea is the major inconvenience to residents and businesses near the construction zone. The city is going to tie up traffic and further congest this street for three months by tearing up the asphalt to lay pipe underneath.
       Second is the cost: $8 million dollars. How much more is this project going to cost in lost revenue from the businesses affected by the traffic diversion? Wouldn't it be cheaper (and less disruptive) to dig a trench in an adjacent easement instead?
       My final concern is the accessibility of the pipe once it's buried beneath several feet of dirt, concrete and asphalt: What happens down the road when the pipe needs to be replaced? Are they planning to tear up the road again and repeat the process?
       This isn't the first time I have seen this done. Wichita, Kansas, had a bad habit of burying water lines under the streets as well. I remember one major thoroughfare was shut down for ages when a water main ruptured. The city lost who knows how much money not only in repairs, but also all the water that went gushing into the air and over the streets before they got it fixed.
       Surely there's a better way to do this. If not, would the powers-that-be explain why?

Deborah Schaulis

Editor’s note: Steve Berry of Colorado Springs Utilities clarified that the Fillmore work is only part of the $8 million cost of the project. The new water line will be laid from the Pikeview Reservoir off Garden of the Gods Road east of I-25 to Utilities’ water treatment plant at Fillmore and Mesa Road.