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Point Loma sinkhole

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SAN DIEGO – Crews made final repairs and restored water service Monday to those residents affected by a water main break on Nimitz Boulevard in Point Loma.

Thousands of gallons of water rushed down streets and into homes after a 16 inch pipe ruptured early Sunday morning and created a huge sinkhole.

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 11.49.51 AMIt’s a story many San Diegans are becoming familiar with, as water main breaks seem to be coming one after another.

“We’ve got crumbling infrastructure that has been neglected for far too long ,” said Councilman Mark Kersey, who chairs the council’s newly-created Infrastructure Committee.

He says water main breaks and flooding are reminders of why infrastructure upgrades need to be a top priority for the city.

“The thing with infrastructure is you have to continually invest in it.  And if you don’t, that maintenance becomes something you can’t catch up on and eventually you just have to replace things rather than just maintain them and that’s where we are today,” said Kersey.

The break in Point Loma involved a cast iron pipe that was installed 70 years ago.  Back in December, a 61 year-old cast iron pipe burst in a Northpark neighborhood.

The city says it’s trying to replace 25 to 30 miles of pipeline every year.

“We’re hoping to have all the cast iron removed by 2017.  But it’s a long, expensive process.  Right now, they’re breaking faster than we can replace them,” said Arian Collins with the San Diego Public Utilities Department.

SAN DIEGO — Crews in the Point Loma area were working Monday to fill a giant sinkhole and restore water service to residents left without it after a metal water pipe ruptured under Nimitz Boulevard, according to a city official.

The street has been closed since Sunday, when the break was reported at about 5 a.m. near the intersection of Nimitz Boulevard and Shafter Street, between Rosecrans Boulevard and North Harbor Drive, according to Arian Collins, spokesman for the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department. The pipe likely broke because of “corrosion to an old cast iron water main,” Collins said.

Some Point Loma-area accounts in the 2600 through 2900 blocks of Nimitz Boulevard were without water service following the rupture, Collins said. Crews initially expected to have water service restored Sunday night, but some customers remained without service overnight.

“We replaced the water main and had it recharged so it was back in water as of about 10:30 last night,” Collins said. “What we didn’t know was there was a hydraulics problem that was not allowing enough water pressure to reach customers.”

The hydraulics crew expected to have service fully restored around noon, Collins said.

A sinkhole about 20 feet in diameter developed on Nimitz Boulevard following the break and prompted officials to close the road in both directions, Collins said.

The water and water pressure “undermined the street and just washed away a lot of the soil, and so the asphalt collapsed in,” Collins said.

SAN DIEGO – Roads near Lindbergh Field were closed Sunday after a metal water pipe broke and damaged homes and apartments.

Point Loma water main breakSome Shelter Island-area accounts were without water service, a city official said.

The rupture was about 1 a.m. beneath Nimitz Boulevard near Shafter Street, between Rosecrans Boulevard and North Harbor Drive.

It was likely due to “corrosion to an old cast iron water main,” according to Arian Collins, spokesman for the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department.

Collins said the broken pipe was installed 70 years ago.

“We’re hoping to have all the cast iron removed by 2017.  But it’s a long, expensive process.  Right now, they’re breaking faster than we can replace them,” said Collins.

Water service was lost to accounts in the 2600 through 2900 blocks of Nimitz Boulevard, Collins said.  Some apartments and homes in the area sustained water damage.

Crews expected to have the pipe repaired and water service restored by 8 p.m., but that was delayed because they had mechanical problems cutting out the old pipe.

Once the sinkhole is filled in, the city’s street division will go in to patch up the road.  That section of Nimitz Boulevard will remain closed until at least Monday, Collins said.

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