Construction on the new Branch County Jail continues with site work and itt comes not without problems.
Monday, a contractor hit an unmarked pipe where the current jail utilities cross Keith Wilhelm Drive.
Coldwater Board of Public Utility Director Jeff Budd said “the pipe on the drawings showed it was a 90-degree fitting, but in reality it was a T-fitting. Someone years ago actually had extended the water main another 60 feet or so.”
Earth movers hit the extension during construction. The water line broke requiring CBPU crews to make the repair to the existing pipe.
A Vactor pump truck, similar to a giant wet vacuum, was brought in to remove the water from the hole so the repairs could be made. The crews finished up around 8 p.m.
Branch County Administrator Bud Norman said the water line was not on any county blue prints. Architects are looking to see whether the line might need to be moved.
It served not only the jail, but adjacent buildings which house the tri-county health agency and local Department of Human Services offices. All had reduced water pressure. Because of government closure, few staff were using the facilities, except for the jail.
Norman praised subcontractor Hoffman Brothers and CBPU for the response.
Sheriff John Pollack said there was another issue at the current jail, a major leak in the boiler which supplies heat and hot water. Aker Plumbing was called for the repair.
Pollack said it must last at least one more year or more while the new jail is constructed. So far only site work is underway.