Updated: As promised, Andy Ryan with Seattle Public Utilities has provided us a little more information about this morning’s project.
“We’re really sorry this happened,” Ryan starts off, “This shouldn’t have happened.” He tells us that the SPU contractor was supposed to be picked up and off the road by 7 a.m. but had to stay until 10 a.m. because of the curing process they used today.
Ryan says that there are two ways to fix a sewer line – dig it up and replace it or realign it. The most cost-effective thing is to reline the line with a resin product. In the past, crews have cured the resin using steam. Last night/this morning crews used a hot water method which took longer than expected. Admittedly, Ryan says, they needed 15 hours to do it right and were allotted less than that. The problem, he says, is once the crew is working on the line they are committed to finishing the project, they can’t just leave when the clock says it’s time to go.
SPU is looking closely at the communication breakdown to make sure this doesn’t happen again, Ryan says. Once the crew on the road knew they wouldn’t be done by 7 a.m. they should have alerted SPU, who would have gotten the word out to drivers and bicyclists using radio/TV traffic updates and the illuminated sign on Crown Hill.
Earlier:If you drove down 15th Ave this morning across the Ballard Bridge, chances are your commute took you much longer than normal.
“It took my 17 bus at least 20 minutes, maybe more, to move from near Shelter Lounge to onto the Ballard Bridge,” one person emailed. “It took an extra hour to get to work this morning,” another writes.
According to Andy Ryan with Seattle Public Utilities, a contractor doing sewer re-lining in the area ran into some complications. He says the overnight work they’re doing involves curing and the curing didn’t occur fast enough to get off the road by the morning commute. SPU is checking with the contractor for specifics and Ryan says he’ll get back to us with more details.