The City of St. John's has wrapped up its testing of trenchless technology for infrastructure work, but still needs to decide if it will work for a major Water Street project.
A press release from the city Wednesday morning said early results suggest trenchless work — a cheaper, less-invasive way to replace old water and sewer pipes downtown — is a "feasible option" but "there are still some details left to work out."
The city says staff have met with representatives from stakeholder group Downtown St. John's to share the results of its investigation, and are also meeting with utility companies. The Big Dig is scheduled to start in 2017.
Downtown shops and services hope trenchless technology would affect them less than the original plan, which is to block off sections of Water Street for months at a time over a period of years.
The city estimated earlier this year that using a less invasive method could cut the cost of replacing century-old pipes from $20 million to $11 million.
"City council will make a decision early in the new year regarding details and timing for the infrastructure replacement project," says the press release from the city.