NC-54 Waterline Replacement Project

Project Facts

  • This project will replace and upsize existing waterlines along NC-54 between Farrington Road and Little John Road. 
  • Approximately 6,500 linear feet of 8-inch to 12-inch waterline will be replaced with a new 16-inch waterline.
  • Currently acquiring easements in the project area.
  • Construction is expected to begin winter 2023.
  • Stay up to date on this and other Water Management projects by subscribing to City news flashes here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is this work needed, what is included, how much will it cost, and how long will it take?
    This project will replace deteriorating and undersized waterlines along the project area to ensure reliable water service and sufficient fire flow is provided to customers.  Approximately 6,500 feet of waterlines along NC-54 between Farrington Road and Little John Road will be replaced. Also, existing water meter boxes and fire hydrants will be upgraded to current standards. The project will be paid for by previously authorized capital improvement program (CIP) funds. Waterline construction is anticipated to last approximately 12 months.

  2. What impacts can be expected during the Study/Design phase of the project?
    • Field survey of the existing utilities in the project area.
    • Non-toxic temporary paint will be used to mark the location of buried utilities in the project area. The temporary paint will wash away in several weeks depending on rain, traffic, etc.
    • Localized “Level A SUE” and geotechnical borings will be required to obtain information about existing utility locations and geotechnical conditions.
    • Sound levels associated with localized borings are anticipated to be between 70 and 90 decibels.
    • Pedestrian and traffic impacts within the project limits are expected to be limited.
    • Small pavement cuts may be required and will be temporarily patched.
    • Work of this nature will be conducted within daytime hours. If “off hours” work is required advance notice shall be provided.
  3. What are geotechnical borings and Level A SUE?
    Subcontractors for the City of Durham will be performing subsurface investigations throughout the project area to locate existing buried utilities and determine soil properties. This information will be used to avoid conflicts with existing utilities during the design and construction phases. It also helps the contractor prepare for different soil conditions. Lane closures lasting several hours will be used at each of the subsurface investigation locations throughout the project area. Small amounts of soil will be removed via an auger or vacuum to complete the investigation, followed by repairing the excavation.

  4. Will my business/property be impacted during the construction phase of this project?
    • Construction will not occur on private properties. All property owners will be provided notice in advance of construction near their property.
    • There will be pedestrian, traffic, and noise impacts during construction.
    • The City’s contractor will be required to maintain access to residences and businesses at all times.
    • Sound levels near active construction areas are anticipated to be between 70 and 90 decibels, with some work in high traffic areas occurring during overnight and weekend hours.
    • Appropriate communication and signage will direct property owners, residents, and visitors to the NC-54 area with regards to any impacts throughout construction.
    • At the completion of the project, disturbed areas along roadways and sidewalks will be repaved, and lawns will be graded and reseeded.
  5. How will I know about detours, changes in traffic patterns, etc.?
    In addition to other notifications, we'll put out signs. These will help property owners, residents, and visitors in the NC-54 area navigate the detours, changes in traffic patterns, and access issues. Disturbed areas along roadways and sidewalks will be repaved, and lawns will be graded and reseeded at the end of the project.

  6. Will my water service be affected by this project?
    Once the project enters the construction phase, existing water meters in the project area will be reconnected to the newly installed waterlines. It is possible that customers will be without water for a short duration (typically a few hours) while this transition takes place. Property owners will be notified in advance regarding any planned service disruptions.

  7. How do I get more information?
    The City will provide status updates via the City website at or  You may also contact the project contacts listed above.