Motorists traveling from S.E. Woodstock Boulevard to the Bybee Bridge along S.E. 28th Avenue, adjacent to the Eastmoreland Golf Course, were forced to detour through the neighborhood starting at 10 am on Monday, February 17.

A significant rivulet of water was bubbling from the west curb of the street near S.E. Carlton, running downhill into a storm drain at Martins Street.

“I was checking on another job, and was called here,” commented a Portland Water Bureau (PWB) supervisor at 11 am. “It’s taking a little longer for our crews to arrive. They were off [duty] because of Presidents’ Day – but they were called in, and will arrive shortly.”

By the time THE BEE returned to the site at 2 pm, PWB workers had already peeled back the pavement, dug down to the water main, and cleared dirt away from the broken pipe.

A crewmember turned on the water supply briefly while a supervisor looked at the pipe, camera in hand, to see where and how the pipe had failed. Water bubbled – then shot up like a garden lawn sprinkler.

“It was an eight-inch cast-iron pipe, installed in 1921, that failed,” PWB Community Information & Involvement Manager Tim Hall reported.

Hall later confirmed what THE BEE had witnessed: “There was a horizontal break, along the top of the pipe.”

Even though the water main failed on a holiday, the twelve homes that were without service during the repair had water flowing from their faucets again that same evening.

Contract Publishing

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