ODOT contractor hits water main from Greenwood Avenue to NE Bend, sending ‘little tsunami’ down Sixth Street


(Update: Repairs underway; traffic in Greenwood reported on one lane)

Oil change turnovers to close a few days for cleaning

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The first day of summer turned somewhat disappointing for Bend Express Lube owner Louis LaMotte on Tuesday afternoon when a contractor from ODOT’s Northeast Greenwood Avenue project ran into and broke a city water main, sending water surging down Sixth Street and into the basement of his business.

“It was like a little tsunami coming our way, that’s for sure,” LaMotte said about an hour later as the cleanup began.

ODOT spokeswoman Kacey Davey said crews were working on an improved crosswalk at Sixth Street and Greenwood Avenue (which is also US Highway 20) when the rupture occurred.

Troy Beck, field operations manager for the City of Bend’s water department, said it appeared the contractor hit a 12-inch cast-iron water pipe that’s about 50 years old. , with a rock hammer around 2 p.m.

“We have everything under control,” Beck said an hour later, with no water customers out of service. The rupture was isolated from the north and south.

Sixth Street was closed due to the rupture and flooding, but Greenwood Avenue traffic was passing, with one lane in each direction for a time.

Davey said ODOT’s vactor (vacuum) trucks were sent in to evacuate the water. Repairs were underway by late afternoon, with Greenwood traffic signaled on a westbound lane, and were expected to last well into the evening, she said.

LaMotte said he expects his oil change business to be closed for a few days of cleaning.

“We have about 20 inches of water in our basement,” he said. “This is also where we store oil. Everyone does their best to clean it up.

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