Water main breaks in downtown Bellingham

A broken water main closed Commercial Street between Holly and Magnolia streets in downtown Bellingham for most of the morning Wednesday, Nov. 5.

An 8-inch pipe, which was laid in 1969, broke around 9 a.m. Wednesday. By 1:30 p.m. city public works crews had fixed the problem and restored water.

Crews had to lower water pressure in the area of the spill, as water continued to bubble up from the street in front of the parkade throughout the early morning. The parking structure remained open throughout the day.

Nearby Brandywine Kitchen opted to open late at 12:15 p.m. The main was repaired before Uisce Irish Pub’s 4 p.m. opening. Faithlife offices remained open.

In a typical year, the city fixes two dozen breaks, according to a city news release. Most of the time those breaks cause outages for about 4 1/2 hours.

The city, which handles 413 miles of water main, replaces portions of the aging pipe each year. Information about those projects can be found online at this cob.org link.