Last week's gas leak should not slow up 29th Ave. construction | News
City engineers say last week’s gas leak along 29th Avenue and Latawah was a short term fix and should not slow down construction for the rehabilitation project.
Spokane Fire responded to the haz mat incident on Friday afternoon after a contracted backhoe operator punctured a gas line. The accident resulted in the evacuation of nearby homes, businesses and schools.
Crews were on scene for about three hours to repair the line and handle the evacuations.
The director of engineering, Mike Taylor, says the pipe was installed about 60 years ago in shallow ground along a layer of rock. They didn’t want to blast, so they just laid the pipe close to it.
Now the pipe will be encased it in concrete to make it easier to access in the future. That process is what’s slowing down that stretch of construction for a bit with an expected September completion.
“Until you peel back the pavement, you don’t know what’s down there,” Taylor said.
Taylor explained there’s always the option for a geotechnical investigation, but the cost is too high. An additional backhoe has been ordered for contractors to speed up the replacement of old and corroded water services.
Phase one of construction is still slated for a September completion with the next phase starting up next year after the winter time.
“Don’t want to do something we couldn’t for sure button up before winter,” Taylor added.