Meridian must pay for Eagle Rd. water main repair, contractor off the hook

Water main repair on Eagle Rd. in Meridian.

Following Monday’s water main break, traffic on Eagle Road has been diverted since this morning after rush hour. Instead of cars… graders, front end loaders and rollers have taken over that stretch of highway.

The pipe is designed to last up to 100 years, but this pipe only lasted 34.

Meridian city officials say at this point, the contractor cannot be held responsible.

"We do have a 2 year warranty on new construction pipe that the contractor would be responsible for if there was a failure in those first 2 years, however, this pipe was installed in 1984 so we're well outside of that warranty period," said Meridian’s Deputy Director of Utility Operations Laurelei McVey.

The city believes large rocks placed around the pipe decades ago are the reason the pipe broke.

"At this point yes... when we excavated the area we did find some pretty large rocks down there that would be inconsistent with our current specifications but likely contributed to this pipe failure," McVey said.

This type of emergency repair is rare, officials say times have changed.

"The city now has pretty strict standards on what that material looks like. Our goal is to remove any large rocks or boulders, those can be a pinch point that as the pipe sits on that over the years it can cause a stress point with the pressurized pipe," McVey said.

Having Eagle Road closed for repair is a major inconvenience. The city of Meridian says it’s now focusing on the future so this kind of work can be planned in advance.

"We're pretty fortunate at this point the city is relatively young as far as pipe life goes but the city is looking at that long-term infrastructure replacement when these pipes start reaching the 100 year span and how we're going to address that," McVey said.

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