By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Needles, California: ZachNews has the latest information regarding the water line break that occurred underneath the Lillyhill Drive bridge on Tuesday, January 14th, 2020.
At 1:45 p.m. PT, Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson provided ZachNews with updated information on the Lillyhill Drive bridge water line break repairs and Lillyhill Apartments water outage.
At 10:03 a.m. PT, Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson spoke with ZachNews regarding the latest information regarding the water line break underneath Lillyhill Drive bridge.
** As of 2:00 p.m. PT on Wednesday, January 15th, 2020: **
– The City of Needles has declared a local emergency due to the water line break.
– Crews from Phillips Excavating Inc are working on the broken water line; replacement parts to repair the broken section of the water line have been found and is at the site. The repairs are underway and should take a few hours.
– Lillyhill Apartments remains without water; bottled drink water has been dropped off for residence at the Lillyhill Apartments. A bypass water line is being installed along the sidewalk towards the Lillyhill Apartments and should be up soon for uses. People and off road vehicles are being asked to be careful along this portion of the sidewalk so not to hit the temporary water line.
– Needles Elks Lodge remains without water.
– Nearby marijuana facility not in operation remains without water.
– Water has been restored to a majority of the community, including businesses in the Downtown Needles, California area and along Cibola Street near D Street.
– Local businesses are back open following the water line break, including Munchys restaurant on Front Street and Retro Pizza on West Broadway.
– The City of Needles tell ZachNews that the water safe to drink, but there is some dirt that may come out out of your faucet; please let the water run for a bit.
– The City of Needles and Caltrans tell ZachNews that the Lillyhill Drive bridge is structurally safe.
– Water drinking water will be available to anybody in the community at the water station set up inside the Community Hall at the El Garces Train Depot, located at 900 block of Front Street near G Street in Downtown Needles, California. The water station will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT and will continue indefinitely until water line repairs are completed. If bottled drinking water is needing to be delivered, please let Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson know at 1 (702) 206-0771.
– Until repairs to the broken water line are fully completed, the community of Needles, California is being asked to conserve water, and expect for the short time water pressure to be not high coming out of faucets.
– Any water damages to local residents related to the water line break are asked to contact the City of Needles at 1 (760) 326-2113 to report what damage occurred. Residents are asked to note and take pictures of the damage for proof of water damage.
– Lillyhill Drive remains closed between Casa Linda Street and Cibola Street.
– Caltrans has enclosed the right lane of eastbound Interstate 40, but the left lane of eastbound Interstate 40 remains open.
– Caltrans continues to clean up muddy from the run off water coming from cracks from along the water line around the clamp placed over the portion of the water line break.
– Needles Area Transit is on a delay as they are being rerouted around the Lillyhill Drive bridge closure.
– Needles Head Start campus is closed and the Needles Community Day School has been moved to the Vista Colorado Elementary School.
– School Bus will be picked up at their locations, including near the Lillyhill Apartments.
According to Needles City Manager Rick Daniels, at around 8:30 a.m. PT on Tuesday, January 14th, 2020, the City of Needles Utility Department was alerted of a water leak, dripping into the center median of Interstate 40; where D Street turns into Lillyhill Drive bridge. The City of Needles met with Caltrans on site and they ordered a bridge engineer to come out and take a look at it, and we began strategizing a plan to response to it; we were looking for an access point underneath the bridge but none excited. The 16 inch main water line is in the bridge structure itself. All departments; public works, water, sewer and electric to all gather and be prepared to what could be a repair.
Two hours later (at around 10:30 a.m. PT, that drip turned into a burst, and the 16 inch main water line which was pressurize because it’s the main water line that takes water out of the well and takes it to the high water tanks or to our reservoirs; it what’s feeds our reservoirs full; it burst and created a local flood; it lifted the roadway pavement up a couple of feet and washed out the side bank on the south side of the bridge. The debris from the burst created a two to three foot layer of mud on the freeway and shut the freeway down.
California Highway Patrol responded to closed all eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 well Caltrans responded with equipment to remove the mud from along all lanes of eastbound Interstate 40.
Crews from all departments with the City of Needles and Caltrans as well as water crews from the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe and Phillips Excavating Inc. all were helping to clean up the aftermath mess and to work on repairing the water line.
At around 3:00 p.m. PT: a clamp was placed over the portion of the water line break, but a few mintues later water began to come out of cracks from along the water line around the clamp.
Members of the Needles City Council voted unanimously to declared the City of Needles a local emergency due to the water line that water line break.
Stay tuned to ZachNews for the latest information and continuing news updates on the water line break underneath Lillyhill Drive bridge.