Punctured Water Line Leaves Big Hole, Big Problem - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/18/08

Punctured Water Line Leaves Big Hole, Big Problem

The city says a contractor accidentally damaged a 20-inch water line late Tuesday. Once the water pressure dropped it created a safety issue for businesses around the Southwest loop. City officials are calling the intersection of Frankford and Spur 327 a mess - a mess they have been working around the clock to fix. According to the city the damaged 20-inch water main was repaired to the point that city crews began filling the pipeline with water.

But the affects of this mistake stretch far and wide for businesses around the area every second the water was off. It was money down the drain. 

"There is no contingency plan for this," says Arbor Inn & Suites Property Manager Rob Meyer. After 18 years in the hospitality business, Meyer says his water has only been cut off twice. "On South Padre Island in a tropical storm and right now, but this is Lubbock, there was no weather. Someone made a mistake," says Meyer.

Meyer says the hotel was 60 percent full Wednesday morning when water was shut off. He didn't charge his guests for their stay and shut down reservations. He's losing money. "If you could add up the numbers, I'd say 10,000 dollars," says Meyer. He's not the only one. Joe's Crab Shack had an empty parking lot at lunch time and estimate loses somewhere between $4,000 and $5,000 dollars.

Director of Water Utilities Aubrey Spears says "It's definitely costing taxpayers having the city go in spending so much time to repair the water line." Spears says that city utilities communicated with TxDot and says that city crews marked where the water line was on the sidewalk.

Business owners say it will be difficult to determine exactly how much was lost. Meyer says that he's had to send customers to the competition and he doesn't know if he'll lose any customers that way.

"That's revenue I can't add up and I'll never know what that cost me." Meyer says he hopes the city takes some action and says, "We made a mistake. How can we make it better? That's what I would do as a businessman."

TxDot hopes to have at least one lane of Spur 327 opened by the weekend. They encourage drivers to use the Spur 327 overpass because traffic signals are still out of service.

 

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