A City water main ruptured in the street at the intersection of State and Pine Streets, just north of Uptown on Saturday, January 2nd around midnight. Cause of the rupture is not known, but the break occurred below a bank of underground electrical conduits that were installed several years ago when the streets were re-paved. The break flooded the street for nearly a block in both directions and the water ultimately found its way to the Boardman River through Uptown via a City utility easement. The Uptown buildings under construction did not suffer any damage, nor did the recently completed paving and landscaping, although there is a lot of sand and debris to clean up at the project and out of the river. None of this unfortunate event was caused directly or indirectly by Uptown or any of its contractors.

Dave Green, Director of the Traverse City Department of Public Services has this to say in response to an email by a concerned Citizen:

“Thanks for your concern and heads up about the activities you noticed on the north bank of the Boardman River this afternoon. I was forwarded your email by our City Planner, Russ Soyring to respond as the DPS Department was involved in the occurrence that required the work be completed .

Saturday evening around 10:00 pm a 12″ water main broke under the intersection of Pine Street and State Street. Before the City was notified and could respond it was close to 1:00 am on Sunday. During the 3 to 4 hours that the 12″ main ran unchecked the water from the leak heaved a good portion of the street, blew out sections of the conc. curb and sidewalk, washed up and over the road right of way and raced down between the two buildings fronting the river taking with it approx. 150 to 175 cu yds. of sand/gravel that doesn’t belong there.

Since Monday I have been working with the USACE in Detroit, the MDEQ out of Cadillac, the Grand Traverse Conservation District and City staff to develop the best plan available to remove the sediment from the river asap.

What you were witnessing this afternoon is the result of that plan that all involved agreed was the best plan.

Although this accident occurred next to the Uptown Development, the project was not the cause of the operation that raised your concern.

The water main break was an unfortunate happening that could have been worse had the boom required for the Uptown Development not been in place. It contained a large amount of the sediment that washed down the bank.

I hope this sheds a little light on what you saw. 

Thanks again for your willingness to report in,