Broken water pipe leads to lengthy repairs on 14th Avenue Southwest

Olympia has authorized an emergency contract to repair a street that was damaged earlier this month by a broken water pipe.

Construction began Tuesday on a dead-end section of 14th Avenue Southwest located east of Decatur Street. Crews will repave about 750 feet of damaged road, and the project is expected to last about a week, according to city engineer Fran Eide. Traffic is restricted to local residents on that section of the street, she said.

City crews have already repaired the water pipe, which failed in the early morning hours Aug. 3. The plastic pipe was originally installed in 1987 and was damaged over time by a sharp rock located underneath, Eide said.

“This is the first break at this particular location,” Eide said. “We don’t anticipate there will be any other problems along there.”

City engineers declared a public works emergency for the street, which allowed the city to seek a contractor without a bidding process, said City Manager Steve Hall. The work will not exceed a cost of $146,000, he said.

“For safety sake, we want to get on it right away,” Hall said.