Pipe Collapse Closes Civic Center Way for 24 Hours

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A collapsed pipe in the westbound lane of Civic Center Way Friday evening, Jan. 24

Civic Center Way was closed in both directions for about 24 hours over the weekend due to a collapsed drainage pipe, or culvert, according to reports from KBUU News.

The pipe, which was initially reported as a “sinkhole,” opened up a deep hole in the westbound lane of Civic Center Way, with the city first reporting the issue at 4:57 p.m. Friday.

“Civic Center Way is closed both directions between Webb Way and Winter Canyon due to an underground storm drain issue,” the city’s first alert read.

City officials were on scene of the collapse, with Council Member Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner describing on Friday night, according to KBUU, that the eight-foot-diameter steel culvert—more than 70 years old—”has compressed from being round to more like egg-shaped.”

KBUU also added some background information on the culvert:

“On the uphill side, the eight-foot-diameter pipe connects to a pair of concrete funnels,” Wagner said, after hiking up the conduits Friday night. One goes under Webster School and the adjacent, old county sewage plant, the other goes under nearby condominiums.

Neither concrete channel is in danger—only the old, round, metal conduit pipe directly under Civic Center Way,” KBUU, reported. “Downhill from the pipe, water is channeled into the canyon barranca [stream] for a few dozen feet, then it goes under PCH and the Ralphs supermarket to the beach. The new city sewer plant is not affected, either.”

By 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, the road had reopened.