The Mobile Area Water and Sewer System is moving forward with permanent repairs on a segment of pipe running along the Causeway following a series of votes this morning from its board of commissioners.

While a number of bids came in for the work, which included multiple alternates ranging from $4.3 million to $23 million, commissioners ultimately went with a cheaper option based on staff recommendations.

The board approved a contract with Construction Labor Services for a total of $3,071,089.41 to replace one segment of ductile iron pipe at one boring, which is directional drilling underneath the water. The initial bid, which was opened in late February, was for more than $5 million and included more segments and another boring. In order to move forward with the lower cost option, the board had to approve a change order which took out the cost of the second boring.

In addition to the work on the single boring and segment, the contract includes work on installing emergency connection stub-outs for easier bypasses, if there is another rupture, MAWSS Assistant Director Doug Cote said.

The board voted to reject a number of bids to increase the line size. Staff recommended these moves due to a lack of funding, MAWSS spokeswoman Barbara Shaw said.

The moves are in response to a failure in a segment of pipe carrying water across the causeway from Mobile to Spanish Fort on New Year’s Day. The failure caused a service disruption for roughly 30 customers, including several area restaurants. MAWSS replaced the bad line with a temporary solution above the water, which is still in place.

Shaw said MAWSS expects work to start as early as the first week of May. She said the utility expects work to be finished in July.