Waterline consolidation on Route 249 in New Kent County could save $80,000/year

NEW KENT – A cost-saving waterline consolidation may be coming to Route 249 in New Kent County.

The county’s public utilities department is proposing to consolidate three separate water systems from: 1.) The George W. Watkins Elementary School area, 2.) The Deerlake, Greenwood Estates, and Kenwood Farms neighborhoods, and 3.) The Quinton Estates neighborhood – by extending approximately 12,400 feet of 8-inch and 12-inch waterline along Route 249 (New Kent Highway) and Route 612 (Airport Road/Tunstall Road).

“A study said that we could save a substantial amount of money each year by extending the waterline,” said Public Utilities Director Larry Dame in a phone interview Thursday. “A preliminary estimate is that we will save over $80,000 every year.”

According to an environmental review submitted to the county by public utilities, the project will “reduce permit management costs for the Virginia Department of Health and Department of Environmental Quality,” as well as “enhance fire protection for the neighborhoods of Deerlake, Greenwood Estates, Kenwood Farms, and Quinton Estates, as well as for rural residences along the project route.”

Public Utilities Assistant Mike Lang told the Board of Supervisors on October 15 that 12 new fire hydrants will be placed along the path of Route 249 and Route 612, which will “help with homeowners’ insurance.”

Though the project’s design phase is complete, the county is waiting to hear from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), which will soon build a roundabout at the intersection of Route 249 and Tunstall Road.

“We are waiting for VDOT to acquire the land easements for the roundabout. When they start construction, we will use their right-of-ways,” Dame said.

The county is aiming to put the waterline project –estimated at $1.2 million – out to bid at the beginning of next year, and start construction on the 6-9-month project in the spring.

“There should be a very minimal disruption to residents,” said Dame. “We will take every effort to work with residents that are along the construction areas.”

Martin can be reached at 804-885-0040.