Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

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Gushing hole in water line leads to extensive U.S. 40 road repair

Water shouldn’t bubble up from underneath U.S. 40, but it began doing so Sunday afternoon in Cambridge City, rerouting traffic for a few days on the town’s west side while repairs could be made.
The town’s superintendent of public works, Ken Risch, said the massive water leak was discovered about 3 p.m. Sunday just east of the railroad tracks near Cambridge City Public Library.
The leak was caused by a hole in the 10-inch water line that feeds the nearby water tower.
After hearing about the situation from Police Chief Richard Roberts, he was hopeful it wouldn’t be too bad and the town’s laborers could repair it. However, his hopes were dashed after arriving on the scene and seeing the road buckle. He knew the project would require Winchester-based Culy Contracting to make the extensive repair.
Risch said no one is sure about the cause, and it likely won’t be known. “It’s just something you have to deal with,” he noted.
Work is set to begin soon on a portion of Cambridge City’s aging water infrastructure, but that section was not part of the areas believed to be the most in need of replacement.
In fact, Risch said while working on Sunday’s emergency, crews discovered other issues that will need to be addressed later. Because valves didn’t close completely, crews weren’t able to shut down the water while the repair was being made. They were eventually able to turn the valves down as far as possible, slowing down the water enough to safely dig.
Risch said he wants to add a couple of valves on that line so it could be shut off if another issue would arise in the future.
One positive for residents was that because the water was not completely shut off, no one lost water service, and no boil advisory was needed, which Risch said was his goal.
The U.S. 40 water line was fixed at about 6 a.m. Monday.
However, that wasn’t the only water line repair needed in town overnight. At about 1:30 a.m. Monday, police discovered a leak on Parkway Drive between Simmons and Green streets several blocks away. Town employees were able to work on that issue while Culy finished the U.S. 40 job.
Risch said he didn’t think the Parkway Drive issue was related to the U.S. 40 work because of the distance, calling it a coincidence. He said that area has had multiple leaks, and already was on the first phase of the schedule for the town’s upcoming waterline projects.
After a sleepless night, Risch was to meet with Indiana Department of Transportation staff Monday morning to learn how INDOT wanted the National Road fixed since it is under INDOT’s jurisdiction. Once learning what to do, Culy will cut out the bad section of the road and fill it.
Risch was hopeful that the road could be repaired and reopened by Tuesday afternoon (after press time for this edition).

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