Road Collapses in Simi Valley After Water Main Break

Commuters were urged to avoid the area as crews repaired the partially collapsed road

After repairs on a water main break that caused flooding and a sinkhole in Simi Valley were almost complete Wednesday morning, the pipe broke again and is expected to take the rest of the day to repair.

The rupture happened at the intersection of Tierra Rejada and Madera roads on Tuesday. The westbound lanes of Tierra Rejada Drive were closed to drivers, but reopened by 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The sinkhole was 5 feet by 5 feet, officials said.

While workers were almost done with the repair, at about 10 a.m. Wednesday, they noticed bubbles coming up from the pipe, and water began gushing out anew.

City Public Works Director Chip Townsend said it could be another 10 hours -- till about 8 p.m. -- before the roadway was repaired. The section of pipe that broke is just inches from the location of the original break.

Townsend had said earlier Wednesday that the City Council had just recently approved the bidding process for the replacement of pipe in that area. The work would have been completed in the next few months, he said.

The broken section of pipe is old, installed in the 1960s, Townsend said.

Workers were awaiting arrival from Los Angeles, and its installation had been expected to fix the problem by about 10 a.m., with work complete before noon.

The ampm gas station next to the water main didn't have water in its bathroom because of the break.


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A water main break happened near the same area last October, also due to the age of the pipes, Townsend said.

An unrelated power outage affected nearly 2,900 nearby customers just before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. About 600 were still without power early Wednesday morning.

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