News Briefs: Manhole Cover That Killed Driver Replaced

In this week’s news briefs, a state agency takes extra measures to ensure motorist safety, data says Wisconsin is highest in strontium levels, and Charleston Water System is refinancing its debt to help fund infrastructure projects.
News Briefs: Manhole Cover That Killed Driver Replaced

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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation replaced the manhole cover that flew off and killed a driver on Interstate 93 in Boston last month. The new cover has been bolted down, according to a report by WHDH.

Caitlin Clavette, a 35-year-old elementary school teacher, was driving to work Feb. 12 when the 200-pound manhole cover went airborne and smashed through her vehicle.

The manhole cover sat atop a storm drainage system. MassDOT was ordered to inspect a 3-mile stretch of I-93 following the accident. Crews inspected 919 manhole covers, sewage grates and electrical panel covers.

An inspection of the infrastructure is complete, the agency says. An investigation into the accident continues, however.

Source: WHDH

Wisconsin Strontium Levels Highest in US
According to EPA data from 2013 to 2015, public water systems in eastern Wisconsin are among the most contaminated in the country when it comes to strontium. The mineral, which is currently considered an unregulated drinking water contaminant, might cause dental and bone growth issues for those exposed to high levels during infancy and childhood.

In January, the EPA postponed a decision to regulate strontium in drinking water, stating that more information is needed to determine whether regulations would reduce health risks.

The EPA has set 4 mg/L as the lifetime health advisory limit and 25 mg/L as the short-term health advisory limit. In Wisconsin, 29 sites exceeded the short-term advisory, with the highest level coming from Germantown with 53 mg/L.

Source: The Post-Crescent

Charleston Water Utility to Refinance $57.1M in Debt
Charleston (South Carolina) Water System will refinance $57.1 million of debt to trim its interest payments, reports the The Post and Courier. The public utility issued new bonds last week.

Moody’s Investors Services say proceeds from the sale will be used to refund $30.9 million in higher-interest debt from 2009 and 2010 bonds totaling $29.4 million. The estimated savings will be $3.6 million.

According to the report, Charleston Water System sold about $148 million in debt last summer to help it fund 18 projects. The latest project is to replace its aging water mains along Spring and Cannon streets in downtown Charleston. The new 8-inch mains are expected to be installed by August.

The utility serves about 114,500 retail water accounts and about 53,000 sewer customers. It also provides wholesale services under long-term contracts with local municipal agencies.

Source: The Post and Courier


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