‘Possible cracks’ close the McClintock bridge over the US 60 in Tempe
Arizona Department of Transportation officials are particularly concerned about the failure of a major water pipeline near the U.S. 60 freeway in Tempe. In addition to necessitating the closure of a long stretch of the freeway, the pipeline break may have also caused cracks in the foundation of an overpass of a major road — McClintock Drive — above the freeway. The steel cyclinder pipe that broke is expected to last for about 75 years, a Tempe spokesperson said, but was only 50 years old when it broke. But such breaks are not rare, says Professor Samuel Ariaratnam, who heads the Fulton Schools construction engineering program. Ariaratnam cites research that found there are an average of 25 breaks per 100 miles of water pipeline — adding up to about 850 breaks per day in North America. The Phoenix area, for instance, is thought of as a young metropolitan area with newer infrastructure systems, but in fact has some water lines that are about a century old, he says. Ariaratnam was recently appointed to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s pipeline advisory committee.
See also: Eight-million-gallon water main break could cause more problems underground, ABC 15 News (YouTube), May 11
Water main break located, but no ETA for US 60 reopening in Tempe, 3TV/CBS 5 News-Phoenix, May 9
No timetable yet for reopening US 60 in Tempe following water main break, ABC 15 News-Phoenix, May 11