Aging pipes likely to blame for Central Fresno water main break

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The intersection of Clinton and Fruit in Central Fresno is now back open after hours of repair and cleanup. Aging pipes are likely to blame for a water main break on Monday. (KFSN)

The intersection of Clinton and Fruit in Central Fresno is now back open after hours of repair and cleanup. Aging pipes are likely to blame for a water main break on Monday.

Water and mud flooded the busy Fresno intersection Monday morning, just as neighbor Phillip Garcia was waking up.

"The water on that side was probably 10 inches deep, but it stretched for probably a block each direction," said Garcia.

Garcia says he worked for the city for 30 years, so he knows about the aging infrastructure throughout Fresno.

"The things in the city are old; people just don't realize it," said Garcia.

City workers spent hours digging and repairing the road that was ruined from the inside out. Officials say they fixed a joint that broke off the water main. It was laid back in 1941.

"I was told by police at the time that there was probably about an 8-foot washout in the area underneath the asphalt, so that's why they restricted traffic going through," said Garcia.

City of Fresno spokesperson Mark Standriff says pipes all over Fresno are all in need of replacement. Earlier this year, the Recharge Fresno water project was passed to raise water rates over the next five years. Standriff says roughly $90 million of that will go to pipe replacement.

"Fortunately, our consumption is down, so there's not as much pressure on the entire system, but these are things that we are obviously concerned about," said Standriff.

Standriff says pipes across the city are on a 90-year replacement plan, so the water mains are being changed as needed.
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