Work on water main break keeps eastbound Austin Bluffs closed

Posted at 8:13 AM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 10:13:22-04

A second water main break at a construction site on Austin Bluffs near Academy Blvd is still impacting eastbound traffic. The road is closed to all thru traffic from American Drive to Academy.

It was last week when the contractor first hit the water main. The problem created a traffic mess for at least 3 days. Then this week the contractor hit the same water main in a different spot. 

If that area is in your normal commute, we recommend using alternate east-westbound routes like Dublin or Woodman Rd.  Or approach the area from Academy Blvd as you can still turn onto Austin Bluffs.

Another water main break is affecting businesses in Colorado Springs. 

Owners say the break happened near Austin Bluffs Parkway and Academy Boulevard on Wednesday night. It’s the same area where a water main break happened last week. 

Robert Fraley, owner of Doug’s Breakfast Lunch, said, "I’d like the road open so we can get our customers back in."

It’s been a challenge lately getting to the restaurant. Fraley says it all started last week.

"As a restaurant you have to have water for your bathroom, washing hands, dishes, cooking food, so we had to close Tuesday."

The business remained closed for several days after that, a huge hit for the mom and pop shop. 

Fraley said, "We had a lot of product that we start preparing the night before and we can’t serve it two days later, three days later, so we a lost a lot of product." 

While some relief came last Friday when crews got the water shut off, it didn’t take long for disaster to strike again. 

"Another water main was broke last night not affecting our water supply, but Austin Bluffs eastbound is completely blocked…we’re concerned that with sales being lower because of people having trouble getting here…it’s just making it really difficult on us."

Steve Berry with Colorado Springs Utilities sympathizes. "Obviously apologize for the inconvenience…this is something that we don’t like to see." 

Berry says the challenge is this: with 2,000 plus miles of water distribution pipe across the city and with so much construction activity there is more risk that pipes can be damaged. 

Berry said, "We have a pretty sophisticated locating group and they do a great job, but it’s an inexact science and sometimes our marks are a little off."

The focus is to get the area cleaned up and prevent future breaks from happening by educating contractors. 

"What those locates mean, how to call them in, what do those boundary areas mean, and how to stay within those boundary areas," said Berry. 

As of Thursday, the goal was to have repairs done by the evening and to be completely out of the area by Friday. Colorado Springs Utilities is investigating this situation.