Broken water main replaced, but I-694 expected to be closed until the weekend

The water main that broke Sunday morning in Oakdale and forced the closure of part of Interstate 694 has been replaced and only one resident remains without water, city officials said Wednesday.
An 11-foot-long crack in the pipe resulted in a leak of more than 1.5 million gallons of water and created a massive washout that is expected to keep I-694 between Minnesota 36 and Interstate 94 closed until the weekend.
Shawn Nelson, utilities superintendent, said crews were backfilling the site on Wednesday and that the city’s repairs were on track to be completed by Friday.
“We actually are ahead of schedule on our end,” he said during a news conference at Oakdale City Hall.
“This came out of nowhere.” He said crews are still trying to determine the cause of the crack.
The water main was installed in 1964 — five years before the interstate opened — but age is not believed to be a factor, Nelson said.
“We made the choice to replace the whole stretch of main, and it was a good choice.” The new main has been designed to withstand heaving and movement caused by construction equipment and cars and trucks.
It includes multiple layers — a pipe inside a pipe inside a pipe, he said.
“I think we’re going to have good stability.” How much the repairs will cost won’t be known for several days, he said.
Nelson said crews had received an alert about three hours earlier that water pressure was dropping.

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