City to Begin Water Main Repair Work on 53rd Street

The installations will begin Tuesday.

By Feng Ye

The Department of Water Management (DWM) began preparing for the installation of water mains totaling 2,550 feet in length this Tuesday. The three sections of water mains will cover East 53rd Street from South Dorchester Avenue to South Hyde Park Avenue, and South Dorchester Avenue from East 53rd Street to East 55th Street.

DWM is collaborating with Benchmark Construction Company on the project. The company has worked mostly in the commercial, health care, senior living, higher education, and specialty sectors, according to their website.

The new water mains will be constructed as a part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's “Building a New Chicago” program, which was initially designed to be a $7 billion investment stretching over three years. With the support of the program, DWM launched a 10-year capital program in 2011 with the goal of replacing 880 miles of water mains across the city, among other water management efforts.

DWM plans to replace more than 90 miles of water mains across Chicago in 2017.

Hyde Park’s old water mains date back to 1890. In a written statement last Thursday, Randy Conner, commissioner of the Department of Water Management, said that the construction is expected to be completed by the end of this year. In mid-April next year, the water mains will go through restoration.

Traffic may be limited while the crew works on the street. During work hours, generally from 7 a.m.–4 p.m., “No Parking” signs will be posted.

Residents can register at for the WaterAlert program in order to receive emails about the progress of the construction work. The project identification number is 1701163.

Conner reminds residents that, once the old water mains are replaced by the new mains, they should flush for around five minutes to rid any sediment, rust, or metals. “If your water line has been idle or stagnant for more than 6-hours, it is advised that you flush for at least 5 minutes to maintain water quality. This may include flushing the toilet, taking a shower and doing laundry," Conner wrote.