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Road Work Closes Santa Fe Street Temporarily
A Riverbank public works crew labors on a section of downtown Santa Fe Street last week. It was closed off to repair a mid-block sewer line interrupted by tree roots half the diameter of the pipe, according to officials. Ric McGinnis/The News

Downtown residents on a portion of Santa Fe Street were briefly inconvenienced this past week as city crews dug up and replaced sewer pipe under the road, between Fourth and Fifth streets.

Riverbank Public Works Director Mike Riddell said tree roots, about half the diameter of the pipe, had worked their way into the line. The repair took a crew about 12 hours, he said, but created only an hour-long disruption in service to nearby homes while being reconnected.

In addition to digging up the sewer line almost all the way across the street, the crew took out two adjacent trees from the public right of way on the north side of the street. They were believed to be the source of the problem.

The repair work was overseen by a representative from PG&E, Riddell said, because there are two high pressure gas lines running down the street in that location, and there was a concern about excavation in the area.

The work took place just a block east of the downtown business district.

Meanwhile, work this week on Riverbank roads is scheduled, with construction planned on the east side of Claus Road and a Sierra Street lane shift, with traffic control devices in place. That work is scheduled from Wednesday, Dec. 27 through Saturday, Dec. 30 from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.