LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – Officials held an infrastructure groundbreaking ceremony in Lebanon Thursday morning as the city’s utility department prepares to replace the aging water main along South Cumberland Street and Highway 231 South.

The City of Lebanon said the $2.5 million project will start north of Jennings Avenue and continue north of Interstate 40, replacing approximately 6,000 linear feet of water main.

“This major investment in our community will replace aging critical infrastructure through the Hwy 231 South Business District,” Mayor Rick Bell said. “In our strategic planning meetings, we always discuss adding infrastructure throughout the city, but it’s just as important to maintain and upgrade our existing infrastructure. This project flows through Ward 2 and Ward 3, and I appreciate the support of the Lebanon City Council, who approved this project because they understand the importance of providing the right support to a crucial part of our business community.”

According to officials, the section of the water main along South Cumberland Street supplies many businesses in Lebanon with potable water, but because of the aging infrastructure, failures are happening more frequently.

The city said line breaks can lead to loss of water service for more than 75 commercial properties — including hotels, retail stores, and restaurants — adding that Lebanon Utilities Department has noticed service interruptions more often in this area.

On top of that, this major infrastructure improvement project will reportedly introduce the area to an intermediate pressure zone that will maintain reliable and consistent service, as well as enhance fire protection for businesses.

“Businesses can’t prepare for unexpected outages and being out of water for hours at a time causes significant revenue loss when the outages occur repeatedly. Investing in this infrastructure improvement is investing in a core business district along our 231S corridor,” said Sarah Haston, the economic development director.

Not only will the Lebanon Utility Department coordinate construction work to maintain water services during the day, but the necessary outages will only happen at night, according to Lebanon Utility Engineer Roy Denney.

In addition, construction will reportedly be limited to non-peak traffic times in order to minimize the impact on motorists.