The rehabilitation project on Hanby Street in Bishop took a wrong turn last week when one of the two main sewer lines for the City broke during construction. Hanby is now set to remain closed through Memorial Day weekend.
What started as a water line and re-pavement project now has a third major component since the City Council has approved an emergency project to rebuild the broken sewer line.
The plan was to replace small and deteriorated water line with new larger pipe and construct new water line along Hanby Street. This was set to be followed by a stimulus funded pavement project.
Last week, City Staff reports that the aging sewer line collapsed in two places during construction on the roadbed. Soft soils are said to be the problem since the heavy equipment appears to have crushed the pipes underground. Public Works Director David Grah explained that the Hanby Street area is on what used to be the floodplain for the South Fork of Bishop Creek that now runs through the City Park. The soft, rich soils are good for growing vegetables as people in the neighborhood can tell you, but the soil is pretty bad from an engineering perspective, Grah says.
Hanby Street remains closed between Line Street and Pine Street. This is a boon for local kids who now have no traffic to deal with and a giant sandbox to play in, but the new sewer project may take an additional $200,000 in City sewer funds to complete. City Staff reports that work on the new sewer project is expected to start next week and run about two weeks. The water line project was mostly complete, but the pavement work will likely be delayed.
The street is set to remain closed through the Memorial Day weekend. Hanby is widely used as an alternative route to Main Street. City staff advises drivers to use Pine Street and Third Street to get around the closure on Hanby.