A water line on Ferguson Drive ruptured this week, forcing city officials to close the Whisman Station roadway for at least a week to make repairs. It was the third rupture in the past year.
Contractors hired by the city will reportedly excavate the pipeline in the next few days and stabilize the foundation at a cost of about $100,000, in hopes of preventing further breaks.
The pipeline is buried about 20 feet underground near the site of two large-scale residential developments. One of the prior breaks occurred last July and was caused by construction crews accidentally breaching the water main. The second break occurred last November when the roadway was closed due to construction.
The latest breach was discovered earlier this week when water started spewing up from the roadway asphalt.
Assistant Public Works Director Gregg Hosfeldt said the construction activity likely contributed to the damage. This type of water main, a 12-inch asbestos-cement pipe, is known to fare poorly when compressed by heavy loads or vibrations, he said.
“The fact that it's close to the new development is suspicious; it's probably related but not necessarily due to any specific action,” Hosfeldt said. “It’s not a total surprise.”
The city will likely be left with the cost of repairs unless there was clear evidence after excavation that the nearby construction was responsible, Hosfeldt said.
Water remains flowing to the neighborhood, despite the closure.