It may be inconvenient at times, but it will be worth it when the job is done.
Goldsboro is preparing a $10.5 million sewer project that is going to rejuvenate and replace some old lines, bring longer life to the wastewater treatment plant and open the city for development.
The inconvenience will come when roads are closed or blocked in and around the downtown area to work on lines that in some cases are nearly 100 years old.
Old lines cannot handle the amount of sewage that comes with more people and businesses to the city. They must be repaired or replaced for growth to continue in Goldsboro and Wayne County.
Also, old sewage pipes are susceptible to stormwater, or nuisance water, seepage, which over time causes a rush of stormwater into sewage lines that overtaxes the wastewater treatment plant and forces a plant remodel to regain capacity lost due to the nuisance flow. Officials report that the $10.5 million project — $9 million in sewer rehabilitation and $1.5 million in rehabbing a wastewater collection system — is less than the cost of upgrading the wastewater treatment plant.
For dozens of years, cities and counties have been forced to put off infrastructure upgrades. The problems could have been started with taxpayers not wanting to pay for the improvements over the years or officials on the local, state and federal levels looking to spend tax dollars elsewhere.
Improvements have been put off for so long that the outdated infrastructure is costing both the U.S. government and private industry millions in repairs, business interruption and supply chain risks. Market Realist, a financial media website, reports that The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that by 2020, “aging and unreliable” infrastructure will cost American businesses $1.2 trillion.
These needed upgrades include water systems but also roads, railways and communication systems. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is working to improve roads and railways through public and public-private funding. The News-Argus has reported on a few of the road widenings underway or under construction in Wayne County.
The news of this $10.5 million sewer project is another sign, another positive one like many others, that the state, Wayne County and Goldsboro are looking to the future rather than relying on the old infrastructure of the past. And from where we sit as observers and reporters, the future is looking bright.