City: Excavation reveals need for further downtown Tacoma sewer repairs

Traffic diversions near South 15th and Market streets in downtown Tacoma are expected to continue through the end of April. This exceeds initial estimates because excavation revealed the sewer lines in this area will require more extensive repair.

A sewer overflow on March 15 was caused by a collapsed sewer line in need of immediate repair to avoid public health and safety issues. City crews established a bypass pumping system to divert flows around the collapsed sewer main line. A contractor began emergency repairs March 17.

“As we continue to excavate, the scope continues to increase due to the existing condition of the pipe,” said Rae Bailey, Public Works Construction Division manager, on Friday. “In fact, today we discovered that we will have to replace additional storm and sanitary sewer pipe along South 15th up to the alley between Market and Fawcett because it is cracked.”

Crews from Tucci and Sons, under emergency contract with the City of Tacoma to make the repair, are working 10-hour shifts Monday through Saturday. Work is expected to be completed by the end of April, depending on weather conditions.

“We are trying to minimize impacts to all businesses and traffic as we complete the repair,” said Bailey.

The primary work zone is between Court C and Court D on South 15th Street and on Market Street between South 13th and South 15th streets. Traffic diversions are in place. Access to the apartment complex and businesses in this area are being maintained.

The sewer in this area is clay pipe and more than 100 years old.