Madera once again under local state of emergency following sinkhole

Kate Nemarich Image
Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Madera once again under local state of emergency following sinkhole
Construction crews remained on the scene of a sinkhole that opened up and swallowed a truck trailer on Avenue 13 near Granada in Madera Monday morning.

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The City of Madera is, once again, under a local state of emergency after a large sinkhole opened up near last week's sewer line break.

The sinkhole opened up Monday on Avenue 13 near Granada, swallowing a truck's trailer and requiring Madera and Parkdale residents to limit their water use for a second time in one week.

It happened just down the road from a sewer line break on June 3, which also created a 25-foot-deep sinkhole.

Crews are creating a temporary fix while they replace the broken pipe.

"We've installed a temporary bypass sewer section lines that are taking the raw sewage from one portion around the break and we're putting right back into the line downstream," said Madera City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez.

The latest incident put the City of Madera under a state of emergency for the second time in a week, forcing Madera and Parkdale residents to once again limit their water use for purposes such as washing dishes and watering plants.

Local leaders said the goal was to ease a strain on the sewer system to prevent more issues, but insisted the water was still safe.

Then on Tuesday afternoon the city released an update saying the system had been stabilized and residents could return to normal water use.

Monday's pipeline failure was the third since January 2023.

The city had hired a firm two year before that to begin evaluating the system with plans to replace the 50 year old line and update infrastructure.

And just this past April, a request for bids went out to put a liner on the existing pipeline from Granada Avenue to Road 21 and a half at the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

"It's a liner, my understanding is it's relatively newer technology, its going to go inside of the system, its going to be expanded and at that point it creates a liner inside the existing system, thereby hopefully extending the life of the pipe by roughly 50 or 60 years," said Rodriguez.

Roughly three and a half miles of sewer line will be improved.

In May, SAK Construction was selected to complete the project.

Wednesday night, the city council will have an opportunity to approve the agreement at an emergency meeting as the pipeline continues to pose health and safety risks if they don't move forward with repairs.

Originally construction was set to start in July, but the City Manager says this should expedite the process.

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