Motorists may find a little extra congestion on Ocean Boulevard this week, as the Coos Bay -- North Bend Water Board begins a water main replacement project. Work is expected to run until mid-November.

Water Board general manager Rob Schab talked in July 2013 about the reliability and redundancy it would create within the system. "The purpose is to allow us to move water from the expanded treatment plant directly into the distribution system," he said at the time.

Currently, water needs to be pumped into a 9 million-gallon clear well before going back into the distribution system. Schab said the new project will allow water to be sent directly into the system, in addition to the clear well.

"If there was a problem now we wouldn't be able to get water into the system," Schab said. "A second option also allows us to do maintenance to the line to help increase longevity."

The project is being paid for entirely through existing funds.

The project covers a section of Ocean Boulevard, running from the Water Board driveway entrance to Woodland Drive -- a distance of about 2,500 feet. Work will begin Thursday.

Laskey-Clifton Corporation, the contractor on the project, will work Mondays through Fridays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., and will maintain a continuous traffic flow. However, one westbound lane will be closed during much of the project.

Brief delays may be expected at the Water Board driveway entrance and at Woodland Drive. Motorists should use caution and reduce speeds through the construction zone. When possible, motorists are encouraged to use other routes.

Any questions can be directed to the Coos Bay-North Bend Water Board at 541-267-3128.

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