Grit causes pipe woes in Alberni

Alberni city crews continue repairing a pipe section along lower Third Avenue. But replacement is needed, city engineer Guy Cicon said.

City engineer Guy Cicon displays a portion of pipe that was cut out from beneath Third Avenue at Redford Street. The stripe at the bottom is an area worn away by grit tumbling through the sewer system.

The pipe is patched at Third Avenue and Redford Street but long-term problems remain with the city’s aging infrastructure, city engineer Guy Cicon said.

Traffic slowed to a crawl through the intersection on two weekends as city work crews descended into what looked like a moon crater to repair a broken steel sewer pipe.

Two more breaks have had to be repaired, city engineer Guy Cicon told councillors at their Monday meeting.

“The pipe was patched but it really needs to be replaced now,” Cicon said. “The break is a reminder of the vulnerability we have with aging infrastructure though.”

Cicon showed a large section of force main pipe from the affected line to city councillors and members of the public at the meeting. The piece had a shiny groove worn along the bottom of the interior.

The groove is caused by grit that acts as an abrasive as it flows down the pipe, Cicon explained. The joints along the 220-metre segment are most vulnerable to the pitting, he said.

Crews repaired a similar break across the street last month. There have been four breaks in the last five to six years in the same area, Cicon said.

The breaks are a symptom of a larger problem, namely the city’s aging infrastructure.

The pipe is made of steel and was originally installed between the 1950s and 1970s.

“Everything has a life span and this has reached its lifespan,” Cicon said. “Our infrastructure is aging and needs to be replaced now.”

Replacing the 220-metre length of pipe with modern  piping is no small undertaking, nor is it going to be cheap. Cicon estimates that the project will cost $300,000 to repair.

Cicon is bringing a request to replace the pipe to the city’s five-year financial plan discussion, which got underway Feb. 15. Asking may be easier than getting, though.

“We’ve got more work to do than we have money available,” he said.

Federal grants are likely not available for a project this small, Cicon added.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Thanksgiving Food Drive returns to Port Alberni

Volunteers will go door-to-door to collect non-perishable items

Tyee Club celebrates 80 years in Port Alberni

James Clark wins Fisherman of the Year award

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs rally for the win with five goals in third period

Port Alberni team has won two games in a row at home

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

Most Read