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Lindvig Way paving yields to leaky pipe

POULSBO — Lanes and turns on Lindvig Way were back to their original states this week.

The only difference — besides a bridge underneath — is that pavement is still two weeks off.

“We always knew there would be a good chance we would be driving on what’s out there and not fresh paving,” Senior Field Inspector Mike Lund said Thursday. “We were hoping against it but that’s the way it goes.”

The contract to replace the Lindvig culvert with a bridge stipulated that Friday was the deadline to open the route back up to its original state.

Earlier this week, it looked like paving was going to also make that deadline until a leak in a water line slowed the process down.

Part of the project included replacing a 10-inch water main that runs along Lindvig Way with a new 12-inch main.

That work was completed last week and paving was scheduled for Sept. 4 and 5.

But pressure tests on the new main Sept. 2 and 3 delayed the asphalt overlay. Lund said the pipe was supposed to test at 200 pounds per square inch (PSI), however, the pressure would get to 200 PSI and immediately drop to zero.

“Basically, we were squirting water into the ground,” Lund explained.

At about 5 a.m. Sept. 4, crews turned off the water to the main for about two hours to allow for a full diagnostic. The culprit was found to be a leaking gasket between two pipe segments. That gasket was fixed and pressure tests were conducted.

“When you connect a garden hose or your washer and you don’t get it connected just right you know how they leak,” City Engineer John Stephenson said. “That’s nothing compared to this process. Even a tiny piece of gravel or anything in the gasket can throw it off.”

In comparison to the 200 PSI water main, a garden hose runs water at about 40 PSI.

Stephenson added that it was Lund’s long hours at the site that made for a quick turn around after the leak was detected.

Paving on the span had to be rescheduled for the week of Sept. 15 because it was the next available time for Ace Paving and the subcontractor in charge of the waterproof membrane on the structure. Both need to be present at the same time while the asphalt is laid.

Despite the delay, Lund said the project is in good shape and no extra charges are likely.

“It’s just extending things. We actually have a lot of contract time left,” Lund said. “They’re still finishing ahead of schedule. Our contract could go until mid- to late-October and they’re probably going to finish up by the end of September.”

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