Van Buren Officials Plan to Replace 115-year Old Lines

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Van Buren officials are preparing to make upgrades to seriously old infrastructure during the next few years.

According to Steve Defresne, director of municipal utilities, the city of Van Buren will apply for a $200,000 Arkansas Community and Economic Development Grant to help fund replacement of water lines first installed 115 years ago, in 1898.

“It still functions properly,” Defresne said. “When it does break, the location of it is very, very difficult to get to for repair.”

Breaks do not happen often along line, which is eight inches in diameter, Defresne said.

During the last year, the line only broke once and it required repairs twice during 2011, he said. But he added that when a break in the line occurs, repairs have not been simple.

“When it does (break), it’s a major repair,” he said. “The cost of a repair could be up to $4,000 or so to repair it in one break,” he said. “But the replacement is not just about the repair. Part of the replacement is about supplying adequate water.”

Van Buren Fire Chief Jerry McAdoo said replacement of the outdated waterline, which would increase the line to an 18-inch diameter, would increase the water supply to an area starting in the Lafayette and Knox Street neighborhood around Mt. Vista and extend into the industrial park area. Click here to read the full story from our partners at