A contractor toiled Wednesday night to repair a collapsed 15-foot section of 80-year-old sewage pipe on Olney Avenue, the Bend Public Works director said.
Paul Rheault said the 16-inch diameter clay pipe carries the main sewage flow from downtown Bend. Had Public Works not discovered the break, a sinkhole or further line collapse might have occurred, he said.
Neither the break nor the work to repair it interrupted sewage service, Rheault said. He said work by contractor Jack Robinson & Sons Inc. closed off about 200 yards of eastbound Olney Avenue to traffic. The westbound lane remained open, he said. Robinson expected to complete repairs by midnight Wednesday.
The collapsed, “completely missing" section caused sewage to flow around the broken end, eroding the soil around it, Rheault said. He said the repair crew diverted the flow around the break by sucking it into a hose and running the hose through a manhole, along 200 yards of the Olney surface and into another manhole downstream.
Rheault described it as a major line that sometimes runs 80 percent full, lies 15 feet deep and is adjacent to another major line that carries sewage from the city’s west side to the wastewater treatment plant. Had the break gone undiscovered, the flow might have undermined the adjacent line and broken it, too. In fact, that line broke in 1979, Rheault said.
— From staff reports