Work on Downtown Water Main Break Will Close Block for Several W - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Work on Downtown Water Main Break Will Close Block for Several Weeks

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YAKIMA, WA. -- Major work began Friday to fix a huge water main break in one of the busiest blocks in downtown Yakima. The work is so massive, the city council plans to make an emergency declaration.

Imagine a 10-foot crack in a pipe below the surface of this road. Water flowed out of the pipe for hours on Saturday, streaming through the concrete, bubbling onto the street, the sidewalk and even getting into some businesses. 

Crews already replaced that section of pipe. But now they're working on replacing the entire block's water piping to prevent this from happening again. They will finish that work Saturday, but the road work will keep this street closed for two more weeks. 

City manager Tony O'Rourke says this situation could continue to happen as the city's aging infrastructure continues to deteriorate.

"It happens," Yakima City Manager Tony O'Rourke said. "Especially when you have infrastructure that is 80, 90 years old. This is common unfortunately. This is an old city and we have old infrastructure and this is what happens."

On Tuesday, the city council plans to make a declaration of emergency that will give the city manager the power to execute the construction contract in a timely manner. 

This project will be costly too. Replacing the water main line will cost $40,000 and repairing the torn up street will cost $100,000.