City designing washout repair

A driver passes over the recently repaired section of Eastview Drive in Westfield after a 12-inch water line burst undermined a section of the street August 4. A temporary patch by Burke Bros. was installed yesterday. (Photo by chief photographer Frederick Gore)

WESTFIELD – A major water line serving a subdivision of 160 homes burst on Saturday, Aug. 4, washing out half of the only access road accessing the neighborhood located off East Mountain Road on the side of the East Mountain Range.
Residents are still awaiting a permanent repair to the damaged section of Eastview Drive. One resident contacted the Westfield News, expressing frustration with the road repair process and requesting a time line for completion of that work.
The road damage was caused when a 12-inch water line burst, undermining the pavement. A section of pavement, half the road width and a couple of hundred feet collapsed. The damage was exacerbated by the fact that the line, buried five feet deep, is on a hill, which resulted in greater pressure during the break, as water drained down from the neighborhood above the burst pipe.
Dave Billips, superintendent of the Water Resource Department, said the water main has been repaired and that damage to the road was extensive, adding that a permanent repair “will need to be engineered.”
“What’s there now is just a temporary patch,” Billips said. “We had to do something because school is opening and that is the only access to that neighborhood.”
Billips said that City Engineer Mark Cressotti is working with the Water Resource Department to determine the exact extent of damage and the best means of making that permanent repair.
Cressotti said the work will be done as soon as possible, but that that a permanent repair might not be completed this construction season.
Residents had expected the road to be repaired Monday, Aug. 6, but that permanent road repair work has yet to be initiated.
“The road is still a wreck,” the unidentified resident reported. “Eastview Drive is our only access road in and out of this neighborhood. The corner of Eastview Drive and East Mountain Road is a high school bus stop. This continuing problem has created a very dangerous and hazardous situation, as it is difficult to see cars coming down Eastview until you are already turning or trying to turn off very busy East Mountain Road to enter the street.
“The residents of this neighborhood have been exceedingly patient, especially the family whose driveway has been damaged by the water main break, and polite when trying to get into or out of the neighborhood, but as school starts we wonder how the buses will get up the hill to the bus stops on top?
“Put some steel plates down at least from the bottom of Eastview to where the pipe broke so we can get in and out of our neighborhood without creating safety hazards for other drivers!! Or fix the road already!”

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