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County seeks help with water line

Harlan County is seeking assistance from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for the repair and relocation of a section of a Cawood Water District water line between Grays Knob and Lenarue.

According to Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley, the section of water line should have been relocated approximately 16 years ago during the reconstruction of U.S. 421.

Mosley explained he has been in contact with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet about the issue.

“Ninety percent of the Cawood Water District’s problems have been encountered in that section of water line,” Mosley said. “It’s been a bad issue for years. When U.S. 421 was reconstructed years ago, for some reason that water line wasn’t relocated. It’s my opinion it needs to be relocated and we need to figure out a way to involve the transportation cabinet in the process of that relocation.”

Mosley said he has met with state legislators and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials concerning the matter.

“It’s going to be about a $1 million project,” Mosley said. “It’s my hope the transportation cabinet will commit some funds – if not all – to the project to cover the relocation that should have happened years ago.”

Mosley sent a letter to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas outlining some of the problems related to the water line issue.

“One customer I visited with recently was without water more than 30 different days in 2017 as a result of this particular line breaking,” Mosley wrote in the letter. “Due to the filling of rock and dirt that occurred during this construction phase…utility district workers have had to get down in trenches nearly 20 feet deep just to get to the line in order to repair it. This creates very unsafe working conditions for the employees of the district and requires nearly a day of excavation just to get to the spot where the line is located.”

Mosley also stated in the letter when the road was reconstructed in 2002, many utilities were relocated but this section of water line was not. The line was covered with fill material from the excavation of the new road bed, which includes rocks approximately the size of an automobile. This has caused many water line breaks, with a large number of breaks occurring in the last two years.

The water line serves approximately 1,000 customers.

“It desperately needs replaced,” Mosley said.