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Water valve installation complete, Fifth Avenue detour expected to end Friday

Project will limit water supply disruptions that could otherwise have affected half the bowl area of Prince George

City crews and a Langley contractor have completed a water valve replacement project that has closed a major Prince George east-west thoroughfare since April 29.

The project, at Fifth Avenue and Burden Street, replaced a trunk valve that distributes water to half of the bowl area of the city, including most of the downtown core.

That one valve is connected to 13 other shut-off points in the water system and if it failed thousands of city residents would be without a water supply. Now, with the new valve unit installed, the city has the ability to control that supply.

“The valving was in an old chamber and we were unable to isolate this trunk valve we have, so if there were any issues we’d have a massive water outage every time,” said Jon Lafontaine, the city’s manager of utilities.

“We typically like to have valving so if we do have an outage it’s maybe a street or two, not half the city of Prince George. This particular one, we’ve had a hard time figuring out exactly which valves are holding which ones in this area and we figured there was a bypass in there, so we wanted to excavate and investigate but also get that chamber out and get the old valving out and replace it with new valving.

“It also leads to the rest of the valve replacement program that we’re doing and now our outages for these other valves are very small compared to what they could have been.”

The valve has been in place since 1958.

A Langley contractor, Pacific Flow Control, was brought in to plug the water line at either end of Burden Street and isolate the site to allow replacement of the valve without disrupting the other water lines that connect to it.

The detours that have been in place since April 29 will end as soon as the intersection is repaved, scheduled to be completed by Friday.