ROSAMOND — The Rosamond Community Services District will replace the last large areas of asbestos concrete water pipes in a project slated to start early next year.

On Wednesday, the Board of Directors awarded a contract to California Compaction for $2.3 million to complete the pipe replacement project.

Their bid was about $60,000 less than the engineering estimated cost for the project, Director of Public Works John Houghton said.

The project is expected to take about six months.

The main water lines will be replaced on Oak, Elm and Orange streets, as well as Franklin, Monte Vista and Richfield streets.

Asbestos concrete pipes were widely used for water systems built in the mid-1900s, but have since fallen from favor.

They will be replaced with plastic pipes of the type most commonly used today.

The replacement project covers an area that includes some of the oldest neighborhoods in Rosamond, built in the late 1950s and 1960s, Houghton said.

Although this project will take care of the last large areas still using asbestos concrete pipes, there will still be some short sections of the lines here and there throughout the city, he said.

The District first put the project out to bid about a month ago, but “we didn’t get quite the bids that we were expecting,” Houghton said.

They went through the process again, this time without requiring companies to meet, and received two bids.

The second bid was only slightly more than the winning one, at $2.4 million, and still within the engineering estimate.

The District policy is to have three bids to compare for projects such as this, but it is not mandatory, Houghton said.

“We’ve done our due diligence, we extended the bid process and we still only got two bidders on the project,” he said.

The Board’s Engineering Committee had previously reviewed the bids and agreed with the recommendation to award the contract to California Compaction, Director Byron Glennan said.

Once work is underway, the progress will be tracked and documented by a local firm, Z Axis Images, the District contracted with last month.

The firm will provide video and still images using drones flown over the project.

Such visual references help explain to the public what is involved in a major infrastructure project such as this or the even larger expansion and revamp of the District’s wastewater treatment plant.

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