Crews are working around the clock to repair a 24-inch Tempe water-transmission line near McClintock Drive and U.S. 60 that broke over the weekend in the middle of the freeway, leading to flooding and the continued full closure of the freeway from Interstate 10 east to Loop 101.
There is not yet any time estimate for repair work to be completed, according to the city.
Tempe acknowledged the inconvenience to drivers and appreciates the patience of those who travel the freeway each day. The city said in a statement that it also appreciates the partnership and support of Arizona Department of Transportation in teaming with the city to resolve the issue.
Cost estimates for the repair are not yet known.
Tempe crews shut off a water main believed to still be feeding water into the transmission line spanning the freeway. That has temporarily interrupted water service to two business complexes along McClintock Drive. The city is providing temporary water to those buildings so they can conduct business.
City crews and contractors are working alongside ADOT to assess the damage and begin the process of making repairs. This entails placing a camera in the line to detect the exact location of the break. The line is 13 feet below the surface. Digging will be necessary followed by the repair, repaving and inspections of U.S. 60 before traffic can resume.
When pumped out of the freeway area, the water that surfaced returns back to the stormwater system.
Tempe said that it has been planning for systematic assessments of water lines. Field work is to begin in the next few months.
This transmission line is made of steel and was installed in 1973. It would typically have a 75-year life expectancy, according to the city. This is the first break of its kind of a transmission line in Tempe.
ADOT advises drivers to use Loop 101 north to Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway or south to Loop 202 Santan Freeway.
Ramps onto westbound U.S. 60 are open from McClintock Drive to I-10, since they are west of the water-line break.
Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Traveler Information site at www.az511.gov, or by calling 511, or downloading the AZ511 app, or through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT.