Work is scheduled to start April 8 and finish by June 7 to fix a sewer line problem underneath Main Street near the courthouse that could be one culprit for downtown drainage problems.
The Columbia Board of Aldermen accepted the low base bid March 19 from Mitchell Contracting of Covington, La., for $138,270.
Engineer Sean Burns said there is a $1,000 per day penalty if the contractor goes past June 7.
He said they have a plan to divert traffic on Main Street around the work site.
Using a sewer camera line, a large void underneath the street was discovered that is allowing water and debris into the line, causing backups and other problems.
The city held off on two alternate projects, one of which would have redone the line to the north up to Gardner Shopping Center and a section in front of the Marion County Development Partnership office.
Michael McDaniel of MD Electric, which contracts to do the city’s water service, recommended awarding only the base bid.
Mayor Justin McKenzie said they’ll have the paperwork ready for the alternatives and can move forward with them when ready.