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  • Alan Cohen, Staff Writer

Quad excavation project leads to accidental sewer line rupture

A sign near the construction site on the Quad explains the goal of the excavation project. Photo by Eleanor Hu.

On March 5, Administrative Program Assistant for Facilities Ryan Snyder communicated to staff and faculty in the Eaton and Waller buildings that water access was being cut off due to a sewer line rupture. No specific timeframe for its repair was provided. 

“Facilities has just been informed that a contractor doing excavation work in the Quad has struck the sewer main for Eaton Hall. As a result we are having to shut down all water and restrooms in Eaton until we can repair the ruptured sewer line. We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes and we will inform you the moment the sewer line has been repaired,” the email to Eaton staff said.

Vice President for Student Affairs Lisa Landreman shared a map of the quad excavation in an email to students on March 1. Photo from WU administration.

The excavation work referred to in the email is part of a transformer replacement that began on March 4. Students at the Salem campus were informed of the three-week-long excavation on the previous Friday, March 1, in an email sent by Vice President for Student Affairs Lisa Landreman on behalf of Assistant Director of Facilities Projects Mark Mazurier. The March 1 email explained, “The work will involve digging a 3’ deep trench to lay conduit from Collins Science Center to Smullin Hall,” and included an attached diagram.

The transformer project is expected to finish after commencement in May, according to the email, and is a part of “larger infrastructure upgrade work” outlined on the Willamette website.

Upon investigation, it appears access to water in Eaton and Waller has now been restored. 

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