City commits to water main replacement after second break in 3 months

Dec 11 2019, 1:14 pm

After a “critical” water main in downtown Vancouver burst for the second time in three months on Tuesday night, the city confirmed on Wednesday that the particular section of pipe is slated for replacement, with work set to begin on January 6, 2020, with completion targeted for mid-April.

According to the city, the pipe which was installed almost 100 years ago, “has reached the end of its service life and has a history of recent breaks,” – the most recent one being on Tuesday.

The replacement project involves replacing 375 meters of ageing water main and sewer infrastructure in three phases from Howe to Thurlow streets.

The new water main “will last about 100 years and contribute to a more seismically resilient water network,” the city said.

In the meantime, and to minimize public impact, the city said construction is also being coordinated with urgent sewer connection upgrades to the Vancouver Art Gallery in the same work area.

To complete the work, a minimum of three traffic lanes will be maintained in areas where construction is occurring: two lanes westbound and one lane eastbound.  During rush-hour two lanes in each direction will normally be maintained.

However, the city said that commuters should still expect “significant delays” along the Georgia corridor in each direction and plan ahead.