Contractors and Cedar Park staffers scrambled over the weekend to dig a cavernous hole in Cypress Creek Road and repair a ruptured 30-inch water line. The road was reopened Jan. 21.
Assistant City Manager Sam Roberts said that from Saturday morning, Jan. 17, to about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, city water service was cut off to 228 apartment complexes east of Bell Boulevard and to all businesses at the intersection of Bell and Cypress Creek.
“We estimate we lost about one and a half million gallons of water,” Roberts said during Cedar Park City Council’s Jan. 22 meeting. “The good news is we got the line shut down pretty quickly.”
Roberts said the total cost for digging the hole, replacing the pipe, refilling the hole and patching the road will likely be between $190,000 to $200,000.
Staffers found the problem under Cypress Creek Road near Cedar Park Surgery Center.
“The road actually lifted up because of the force of the water,” Roberts said. “Pretty much everybody in our public works departments was called in that weekend to work on this job.”
He said Cedar Park police redirected traffic and the Cedar Park Fire Department distributed $2,000 worth of water to affected customers. Meanwhile, public works staffers called in contractors Excel Construction and Austin Engineering Company to dig down to the pipes over the weekend.
“To fix a line break of this size, you have to dig a very big hole,” Roberts said. “These guys were down in the hole so long, they got to where [others] were throwing pizza boxes down in there for their meals every four hours.”
Once contractors reached the pipe, they found that a saddle valve connecting the 30-inch line to another line leading south of Cypress Creek Road had separated.
Roberts said the cause of the rupture is unknown, but could have been caused by slow ground shifting.
“We’ve never had one of these saddle [valves] fail,” he said. “We’re not really concerned that it’s going to be a recurring problem.”
After water service was restored Sunday evening, the city issued a boil-water notice. The city rescinded the notice Monday evening after laboratory tests showed the water was safe for drinking. Mayor Matt Powell said the city does not often need to issue boil-water notices. Roberts added that he recalls the city issuing only two or three boil-water notices since 2002.
From Monday, Jan. 19 to Wednesday, Jan. 21 the city patched Cypress Creek with asphalt before opening all lanes to traffic.
City Council members during the Jan. 22 meeting approved the expense as emergency spending. Roberts said the city’s contractor will make more repairs to the road starting Jan. 25.