COAL TOWNSHIP - A smoother drive on West Pine Street is expected soon. The bumpy township roadway that had been torn up for a water main project is slated for paving next month.

Eastern Industries, Center Valley, will begin paving Aug. 11, according to Aqua PA officials. Repairs to sidewalks are currently under way by Graydus and Son, Pottsville.

The road was dug up in the fall to replace water main and laterals. Winter weather stalled the project for several weeks before it resumed earlier this year.

About 3,550 feet of 6-inch cast-iron pipe was replaced with 8-inch cement-lined ductile-iron pipe, between Oak Street and just west of Jackson Street, according to Donna Alston, Aqua PA spokeswoman. Rust builds inside the old piping, in some cases to several inches, restricting flow, she said. The cement lining in the new piping prevents the buildup.

Trenches were dug curb-to-curb on many blocks and have since been backfilled. Township Manager Rob Slaby said those areas are likely to be repaved in full, while spot paving will occur in areas that were disturbed only along curbs.

Aqua PA spent $800,000 on the Coal Township project and nearly $17 million this year on infrastructure improvements throughout its Roaring Creek Division, which includes parts of seven counties.

Slaby said the township was unaware of an end date for another utility project - UGI's gas line work on Oak Street. That road, too, has undergone extensive digging.