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Broken Water Line Closes Part of University Drive Tuesday

By: greghahn   Published 10:11 pm / October 2, 2017

UPDATED at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, with good news: Road and water crews finished work and repaired the road. It reopened Wednesday evening.

A water line under University Drive near the Student Union Building broke Monday evening and forced the closure of much of the main artery through campus. The break was due to structural failure of a section of 1990 PVC pipe in University Drive. A repair to the main line was completed overnight and the broken section of PVC was replaced with ductile iron pipe.

During a major leak it is not uncommon for roadways to become unstable when large volumes of water mix with gravel and bending materials under the asphalt. Any amount of weight over the leak has the potential to break through the asphalt and fall into a fluidized bed of water and gravel. Work on the roadway is proceeding this morning and an asphalt crew is scheduled to re-pave the road on Wednesday, Oct. 4.

The class schedule continues as planned Tuesday, with a few classes relocated from the Honors College. Students and faculty affected were notified by email.

Breakfast was served at the Boise River Cafe in the SUB starting at 7 a.m.

At least through Wednesday evening or until road repair is done, the intersection of University Drive and Lincoln Avenue will be closed.

But some changes have been made to the closures:

Traffic coming from Capitol Boulevard will be diverted at Theater Lane and the Brady Street Garage and surface parking areas remain open. Traffic coming from Broadway will be diverted at Michigan Avenue, and the Lincoln Avenue Parking Garage will remain open. Lincoln Avenue will be closed between Belmont and University.

University shuttles will divert around the affected area, heading south on Michigan, west on Belmont, north on Joyce and then continue on their normal route west on University.

Drivers are encouraged to enter the side of campus closest to their destination. Some lots north of university only will be accessible via Cesar Chavez Lane.

Water pressure was affected throughout campus, though Suez Water isolated the leak to a smaller area Monday night, and the pressure increased through most campus buildings. The Student Union Building and the Honors College and Sawtooth Hall were without water overnight, but the water was restored by early Tuesday morning.

Campus dining services made take-away sack meals and handed out water. The Rec Center opened for restrooms and showers throughout the night. Several portable restrooms were brought in, as well.

Faculty, staff and students with issues to report should call (208) 426-4991.