Downtown water main break costs city at least $325,000

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A major water main rupture that flooded part of downtown Minneapolis is estimated to cost the city at least $325,000, the Star Tribune reports.

A private subcontractor working on a $70 million apartment-retail development project at Hennepin Avenue and Second Street North accidentally struck a 36-inch water main on Jan. 3, sending 14 million gallons of water rushing through the streets.

The estimate is preliminary and is likely to rise, according to City Engineer Steve Kotke. The city is negotiating with general contractor Ryan Companies, subcontractor United Sewer and Water and a sub to the sewer company that was manning the crawler hoe.

MinnPost provides a breakdown of the estimate: $65,000 for the cost of water, $160,000 on materials and equipment rental for the repair effort and $100,000 for the cost of labor by city employees.

The Star Tribune says the cost estimate does not include the 33 Postal Service vehicles and 20 other vehicles owned by postal employes destroyed by flooding to the underground parking ramp, which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Kotke tells MPR that the city still doesn't know the circumstance that led to the accident. Officials continue to investigate and hope to get an explanation during settlement talks.

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