NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN) — Repairs to the international pipeline in Nogales are set to start by the end of the year, thanks to new funding.
Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino says the $13.8M isn’t enough to get the job done right, but the U.S. International Boundary & Water Commission (IBWC) assures these repairs will last.
“The pipe itself is going to be very secure and it’s going to have a useful life of about 50 years,” said Lori Kuczmanski with IBWC.
Kuczmanski says they will use a Cured-In-Place Pipe (CIPP) process to repair the damage.
“It’s basically a liner inside of the pipe and it’s a trenchless technology and that's a very effective way to rehabilitate an aging pipe, such as the IOI,” she added.
She says the project has been divided into five-phases of repair.
“It’s a 9.9 mile pipeline and we’re going to do the top priority phases first. The locations were prioritized based on wear and tear, and the most urgent need to get them fixed,” she told KGUN9.
The first three phases will prioritize repairing pipeline damage by the wastewater treatment plant, then rehabbing damage on and near the border. Mayor Garino told KGUN9, on Wednesday, that what’s needed is more money and the relocation of the pipeline to Morley Avenue. Kuczmanski says that’s not possible.
“The amount to remove the IOI out of the wash was a very, very large amount of money, and it was also not feasible because it runs under the wash, adjacent to the wash, through landowners, by the railroad property… and studies have already been done identifying that and we just don't have the money for that,” said Kuczmanski.
Another concern of Mayor Garino: piping in the wash getting hit by debris, and breaking.
“To help that situation, we’re going to shore up some of the areas where sticks, and trees, and some debris coming down would potentially hit these manholes and cause some destruction. So we’re going to put some protective measures around it and those sites have already been identified,” said Kuczmanski.
Construction for the first three phases is expected to start by the end of the year and be completed by September 2023.