A section of Valley View Boulevard remained closed Friday morning to all but one lane of northbound traffic as a result of a water main break that water officials called a self-inflicted wound.
A crew taking soil samples for the Southern Nevada Water Authority ruptured the 84-inch water pipe that runs about seven feet beneath Valley View between Spring Mountain Road and Twain Avenue, said authority spokesman Roger Buehrer.
The accident occurred about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, and Valley View has been closed entirely or restricted to one northbound lane ever since.
Buehrer said the concrete pipe was patched and returned to service about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Workers hoped to fill the massive hole in Valley View Friday and resurface the road today .
Valley View between Spring Mountain and Twain is expected to reopen to traffic by this afternoon, Buehrer said.
No residential or commercial customers were left without water service as a result of the break.
The 30-year-old pipe is part of the authority’s network of transmission laterals that deliver water from the valley’s treatment plants to the distribution reservoirs of its member utilities.
Buehrer said water was allowed to continue flowing through the ruptured pipe for seven hours to “top off” the reservoirs used by the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the city of North Las Vegas.
There was never any risk of valley homes and businesses being cut off because redundancies in the transmission system allow the authority to “bring water in from another direction” in the event of a major break, Buehrer said.
The pipe was ruptured by a piece of boring equipment used to take soil samples around buried water pipes.
“Certain corrosive soils will attack the integrity of the pipe, so we sample all the time,” Buehrer explained.
In this case, the workers apparently did what they were supposed to — they called before they dug — but exact location of the underground pipe was marked incorrectly, he said.
The 7-foot pipe is one of the larger-diameter pipes the authority uses, but it’s not the largest.
The cost of the repairs is not yet known, though the amount of water lost was minimized by moving some of what was already in the pipe to the reservoirs down the line.
“I don’t think anybody has calculated the water loss, but that will have to be done at some point,” Buehrer said. “The focus has been on getting the pipe repaired.”
Contact reporter Henry Brean at hbrean@review
journal.com or 702-383-0350.