The project to replace a large portion of the water line between the villages of Avon and Buxton will begin on November 1, 2022.
Approximately 1.5 miles of the existing water line will be replaced with brand-new, stronger C900 PVC piping, resolving a longstanding issue of water line breaks that have intermittently occurred over the past few years.
The water line runs parallel to N.C. Highway 12, but no traffic lane closures or delays are expected to occur during the replacement project. Visitors traveling between Avon and Buxton are advised to use caution and reduce speed as needed, as equipment for the work is staged and mobilized along the roadway.
The expected completion date of the project is April 1, 2023, however, like many projects on the Outer Banks, this timeline is determined by the weather. “The [timeframe] depends on groundwater levels, and strong northeast winds can affect that,” said William Nash of the Dare County Water Department. “So the project is very dependent on the weather.”
From November 2018 to September 2022, the existing 12” PVC Avon-Buxton water line experienced 10 ruptures, which sometimes caused disruptions in service to Avon residents and visitors.
In the early part of these ruptures, the Dare County Water Department began recording the pressure on the water line and determined that the highest-pressure spike on the line was 80 psi. The new 12” PVC pipe between Avon-Buxton will be able to withstand 200 psi.
The Dare County Water Department hired an engineer to review the collected data, and the recommendation was to install pressure/vacuum relief valves, which ultimately did not solve the problem. It was then decided that it was necessary to replace the water line with approximately 1.5 miles of C900 PVC pipe. Joint constraints and an additional fire hydrant were also added.
The Avon-Buxton water line replacement project was placed in Dare County’s 2023 Fiscal Year budget and was funded for $1 million. The county received three bids for the project and selected the lowest bidder, Basnight Construction Inc., to conduct the replacement of the water line.
Below is a map of the water line rupture areas, as well as where the replacement project will take place. Access to popular area beaches in the area, including Kite Point and Canadian Hole, remain open.