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Two consecutive waterline breaks cause road closures

Posted at 7:33 PM, Jan 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-30 22:21:25-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — When driving on Corpus Christi roads, most locals expect a bumpy ride.

"Certain roads are worse than others. I deal with potholes all the time." said Emmett Reyes a Corpus Christi Resident.

But lately sinkholes appear to be a problem.

Repairs are underway for the Yorktown Mud Bridge after a sinkhole was discovered in December.

The most recent sinkhole appeared during the last weekend of January, along North Tancahua street. It led to an emergency road closure. The City of Corpus Christi said a waterline break cased this issue.

Wesley Nebgen the Director of Water Systems Infrastructure with Corpus Christi Water said, "It was a water leak on a 12-inch cast iron main and it washed out the area after it broke. It kinda rolled the soil and sediment out of a whole along with all of the water that was coming out of it."

Just days prior to that incident, a similar situation happened on South Padre Island Drive. A waterline break was also to blame for issues with the road between Staples Street and Nile Drive.

Repairs for both locations are expected to take several days.

The director of the city's water systems and infrastructure said waterline breaks aren't an unusual problem, but it's not common either.

"You see these different seasons, different times of the year that bring about different numbers of water main breaks." he said.

He said it's hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the pipe's failure regarding both recent occasions. One factor each has in common was the aging pipes. The pipes on SPID was from the 1960s and the one on Tancahua was in place prior to 1954 according to Negben.

"Whether it's due to age, shifting soil or other conditions, it's really hard to tell."

Nebgen said Corpus Christi Water has a program to replace aging infrastructure. They also look at past data to identify problem areas, with the hope of avoiding future issues. According to Negben, more than $70 Million has been set aside for water replacement for this fiscal year.