Parks Department staff member Kevin stands over an excavation on March 1 that has been covered up since May of 2017. His assignment was only to look at the situation and report.
The problem, according to a Parks source, is that an 8″ PVC water pipe formerly used for irrigation is cracked on the downstream side at the point where it joins a gate valve. The valve is turned off.
The City has not run irrigation in the park for about five years due to the water shortage in the drought, but the same pipe is believed to also supply water for the standpipe on the west side of the park for use of the Fire Department.
The pipe may also have had something to do with the persistent marsh near the west side picnic area, only abated late last fall.
The repair is beyond the capacity of the Parks Department. The Department, according to the source, has been negotiating for many months with a contractor who asked an unreasonably high price for the job. Now it has found a different contractor at a lower price, who is scheduled to do the job before the end of March.
Today, March 7, Parks replaced the two plastic barriers which have been standing (and often lying) guard over the excavation since May last year, with a plastic tarp over them part of the time. Now there’s a platoon of ten plastic barriers. That’s progress of a sort, since the plywood never covered the whole dig and presented a trip and fall hazard. Stay tuned. For the history of this long neglected job, click here and here.