Construction to replace a broken water line in Weott has been stalled due to a “funding gap,” project manager Michael Veach said Wednesday.
Veach, of Eureka's SHN Engineering, said he is working with contractors to get bids for the project to fit within the $234,000 grant offered by the state Department of Public Health.
”I've spoken to the community services district about it,” he said. “And I'm working with the contractor about the cost.”
A leak sprung in the water line during an accelerated effort to refill a Weott Community Services District Board tank after it was discovered that 20,000 gallons of water had been stolen between July 21 and July 22, prompting the board of supervisors to declare a local emergency in August.
Veach said in a previous interview that construction to fix the line was scheduled to begin this week.
”We're very close to starting,” Veach said on Wednesday. “The contractor we're working with indicated they could mobilize in three to five days once we get this all worked out.”
The district provides water to a community of 330 people, including Agnes J. Johnson Elementary School, the Weott post office and Cal Fire station, and Burlington Campground in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
Veach said once the project begins the replacement line will be placed through the bedrock using a horizontal drill under the river to minimize the line's exposure to the elements.
Weott Community Services District board chairperson Barbara Kennedy said the board is expected to review contractor bids by the end of this week, once they are worked out with the engineer. “We're on a tight budget,” Kennedy said. “We don't have the funds to supplement the costs.”
She said the district has been able to serve the entire community during the emergency.
”Everyone's been really good as far as conserving water,” she said “We haven't had any complaints.”
With heavier rains expected in November, Kennedy said it's now “finger-biting time.”
”Once the river goes up, it's going to be very difficult,” she said. “I don't know how long the patch will hold. Water is going down the line with a lot of pressure.”
Catherine Wong can be reached at 441-0514 or cwong@timesstandard. com. Follow her on Twitter and Tout @cmwong27.