Old Infrastructure

By: Carolyn Evert
By: Carolyn Evert

The broken natural gas pipe in Downtown Reno is more than 50 years old. But age wasn't the reason for the damage it was the unexpected location of the pipe. Wednesday's accident happened at the corner of 1st & Sierra Streets. City officials say the construction company followed all the right measures, but somehow the records of this pipe got lost in the shuffle.

"As it turned out it was a 50 year old pipe and a 50 year old valve. When we went to shut off the valve right there in the street, They didn't have the key that fit it, so it was a bit of a scramble so we could get her shut down, said Tim Heyen the Palladio Spokesman.

The pipe should have been 30 inches in the ground. Instead it was about 4. The city manager's assistant says the pipe is from the 1950's, but somehow no one knew it was so close to the surface.

" When you work in the same area over generation and generation you come across different regulations so this is something we have learned to deal with unfortunately mistakes do happen people are human there might have been a mistake in the records, we don't know," said Chris Good, Assistant to the City Manager.

By early next week Sierra Pacific is going to be lowering the gas line nearly 3 feet in the ground. The utility company will also replace the line on the river run too. Right now that line is 12 inches deep.


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