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Pipe bust at McArdle, Staples intersection caused by decades-old damage to protective coating

The city initially said a contractor damaged the pipe, but an investigation showed a 1986 install of a conduit weakened the protective coating on the pipe.
Credit: KIII TV

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Sunday, Jan. 8, the city initiated an emergency closure of the McArdle Rd. and Staples St. intersection after a major waterline break caused road damage. 

The city initially said that a contractor in the area had punctured the line but an investigation by the city found that wasn't the case. Instead, the break was caused by damage to the pipe made back in 1986 during a conduit installation. 

"The waterline was installed in 1965, followed by conduit around 1986. When the conduit was installed, it compromised the pipe and removed a portion of the protective coating,"  Sr. Public Information Officer Melanie Lowry with the City of Corpus Christi said. "Over time this weakened the effectiveness of the coating, causing the pipe to deteriorate more quickly." 

Portions of the intersection were closed for days, causing traffic nightmares and businesses in the area to lose money, they said. The road fully reopened on Jan. 17 after the pipe was repaired and road was fixed. 

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