Why Flint’s lead pipe replacement costs so much, and moves so slowly

FLINT – Pity the Ida Avenue resident who wanted, or needed, to sleep late today. The sun was barely out of bed when the excavator started piledriving into the asphalt in front of 1410, breaking it up in preparation for a morning of digging. On this morning, it was 1410’s turn to get a new water service line. The crews have been out for a while in this neighborhood on the southwest side of Flint, replacing the infamously damaged lead pipes of the city’s aging infrastructure, the source of its now years-long water crisis. The process started slowly in February, but is beginning to pick up speed under the oversight of Michael McDaniel, the retired Michigan National Guard brigadier general appointed to oversee Flint’s FAST Start program, dedicated to this very chore.

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