Sinkhole alerts crews to failing pipes

    jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune Construction on Sixth Street is on track for August completion.

    A sewer line and storm drain replacement project that has closed portions of West Sixth Street in downtown Medford is on track for completion in late August, city officials said.

    A storm drain pipe and sewer line running beneath the road is being replaced between North Front Street and Evergreen Alley, including a segment that runs beneath the railroad tracks, with additional storm drain pipe being replaced from North Front to an area just west of North Ivy Street. (Corrected online: see below)

    The estimated completion date is Aug. 31, according to a project summary on the city’s website.

    The $1.5 million undertaking “will upsize and relocate the existing storm drain pipe and segments of the existing sanitary sewer,” according to the summary. “The current storm drain rests directly below the sewer line, and pipe structure failures are causing the sewer line to settle in areas.”

    “We were afraid it was going to undermine the sewer pipe, as well,” said Medford Public Works Director Cory Crebbin.

    The project began after a sinkhole opened up near the James A. Redden Federal Courthouse, 310 W. Sixth St. When city crews investigated, they found the failing pipes.

    City officials awarded a contract to Central Pipeline LLC in November 2017.

    The project has required crews to tear up large sections of the road, completely closing the street and snarling access to adjacent businesses.

    “It’s quite an involved process,” Crebbin said.

    Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at or at 541-776-4468.

    Correction: The original version of this story referred to Evergreen Alley as just west of North Ivy Street. It is west of North Front Street.

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