WT Stevens Construction, a black woman-owned construction company, has been awarded a federally funded service contract to replace thousands of water pipes in Flint, Michigan. WT Stevens became a state-certified lead abatement specialty company in 2016. The company was awarded a $10.9 million contract to replace more than 18,000 corroded pipes throughout the city. WT Stevens is responsible for addresses in Wards 3, 4, 8 and 9.
Rhonda Grayer, vice president of the family-owned company, told The HUB Flint that this contract is the “biggest project we’ve done.” Her husband and project manager, Jeff Grayer said: “Our company is usually the only African American-owned business to respond to request for proposals for various Flint city contracts even now after the court rulings related to the water crisis,” he said. “This is a major project that will ensure public safety and start rebuilding trust between the city and the community…something that has been missing awhile.”
To date, WT Stevens has replaced more than 800 waterlines and projects to have another 6000 replaced by the end of 2017. The goal according to Jeff Grayer is to “have all 18,000 lead-corroded residential pipes replaced by December 2019.”
The Flint water crisis made news in 2014 when Governor Rick Snyder and other politicians moved to change Flint’s water source from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River without properly treating the water or checking it for toxins. This led to several cases of lead poisoning among adults and children in the predominantly-black city. Since then, water quality has been improved, but is not completely in the clear.
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