A Port Angeles Public Works crew examines the hole left at 11th and Oak streets after a water main break sent a geyser of water into the air Saturday morning, damaging the road surface. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A Port Angeles Public Works crew examines the hole left at 11th and Oak streets after a water main break sent a geyser of water into the air Saturday morning, damaging the road surface. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles Public Works patches third water main break in four days

Director says such blowouts common after pipes thaw

PORT ANGELES — An 8-inch water main that broke Saturday morning on South Oak Street at its intersection with 11th Street in Port Angeles was repaired by the end of the day.

The area was backfilled and a contractor will be hired next week for pavement repairs, according to Public Works Director Mike Healy.

A portion of the intersection on 11th Street about 150 feet east of Oak Street will remain closed to traffic until road repairs are complete.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane on Oak Street between 10th Street and 11th Street.

The Oak Street break didn’t cause as much damage as the water main break at Lincoln and Fifth streets on Wednesday, Healy said. That intersection was reopened on Friday after it was repaired. It ended up needing an asphalt patch of some 50-by-50 feet because of the amount of roadway destroyed.

The break at 11th and Oak streets required a 20-by-20-foot patch.

Although there was a lot of water in the hole, it “didn’t travel the way the one on Lincoln did, knocking out big areas of wall,” Healy said.

Although it was thought earlier Saturday that one person was left without water, it was found afterward that no one was cut off, Healy said. The city will test the water anyway, he added. It is not needed to boil tap water.

The break reportedly occurred at about 7:45 a.m. Saturday morning.

This break is the third in four days. in addition to the repair of a 4-inch water main break at Lincoln and Fifth streets, city crews repaired another one at Third and Oak streets on Thursday, Healy said.

“This is pretty typical when you get a period of frost in the ground like we had the last couple of weeks,” Healy said. “When things thaw out, the ground around the pipes changes, and if there’s a compromised spot, it breaks.”

A geyser of water sprays into the air from a water main break at 11th and Oak streets in Port Angeles on Saturday morning. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A geyser of water sprays into the air from a water main break at 11th and Oak streets in Port Angeles on Saturday morning. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

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