Portion of Birdwell Lane closed for repairs

Motorists traveling along Birdwell Lane this week are being asked to use caution and have some patience, as one of the southbound lanes of the thoroughfare from Sunset to 11th Place will be closed for repairs.According to Assistant City Manager Todd Darden, the street repairs are part of the city of Big Spring's recent waterline replacement project that began on Third and Fourth streets and recently made its way out to Birdwell Lane.“The project was originally designed to replace the utility lines on Third Street and Fourth Street,” Darden said. “However, we were able to stretch out the funding to include a portion of Birdwell Lane. Those utility lines have now been replaced and we're going in and making repairs to the streets and concrete work.”According to a public service announcement issued by the city Monday, the lane of traffic is expected to be closed beginning today and continue through Friday between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day.“Overall, it will take about two weeks to get the majority of the work done,” Darden said. “They have to go in and dig out the asphalt and get the streets ready for repair. They also have to begin the concrete work, which includes curbs, gutters and driveways, among other things.“The most important thing for motorists to do when driving in those areas is be cautious. There are going to be all kinds of workers and equipment moving around the area, so it's important — not just for the safety of the driver, but for the safety of the men and women working on the roadway — to keep a close eye on what's going on around you.”Darden said the benefits of the utility line replacement efforts along Birdwell Lane are already being felt.“When it comes to the number of water main breaks in the city, we're finally beginning to see the numbers curb back to what they were several years ago, which was about 250 a year,” Darden said. “A couple of years ago we were seeing more then 500. Some of that was because of equipment malfunction at the water treatment facility and some was because of construction problems at a few sites. However, now, with the water line replacement project completed, we're beginning to see things get back to normal.“In the Birdwell Lane area, we've definitely seen improvements, mostly in the continuity of the water pressure. We were also able to get rid of a lot of the dead end lines we were constantly having to flush, which is making a big difference. Pressure is much more consistent now, so I'd say the replacement of the water lines in this area has helped us tremendously.”For more information on city projects and road closures, contact the City Streets Department at 432-264-2376.