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Ashland faces tricky fix for waterline leak

December 19, 2018

ASHLAND - The city of Ashland is once again working on a waterline leak near the city water plant, a problem that has closed two of the four lanes of U.S. 23, according to city and state officials.

City wastewater crews working in the area found a leak Monday of treated water coming from a stormwater drain near the water plant in the 4000 block of Winchester Avenue.

The leak forced the closure of one lane of traffic in each direction Monday evening, according to a release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

City Manager Mike Graese said he hoped city crews could find the problem by Tuesday afternoon. The best case is that the treated water is coming from a small, 6-inch line. The worst case is that the leak is coming from a 16- or 24-inch line, he said.

If the leak is in a geographically tough area, it will be a challenge to make repairs, Graese said. That’s why he couldn’t say how long it could take to make the needed repairs.

City crews have dealt with a number of waterline breaks in the area in recent years. A major leak has led to stoppage of services in some cases.

Some 20,000 cars per day use the highway, meaning it could lead to traffic delays and congestion in the morning and evening rush hours, according to Allen Blair, information officer for District 9 of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

U.S. 23 traffic has been moved to the northbound lanes, with traffic moving in both directions in the northbound lanes while the southbound lanes nearest the water plant are closed.

As soon as a determination is made on how long repairs will take, city officials will make an announcement on the Ashland Facebook page.

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