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Pipeline repairs cause traffic to trickle

Traffic in downtown was tied up Wednesday due to a water pipeline that required emergency repairs.

Renae Hinchey, general manager at the Laguna Beach County Water District, said that crews went in about 8 p.m. Tuesday night to look at a fire hydrant that wasn’t working properly on South Coast Highway at Forest Avenue.

During the excavation, workers realized that a flange, the lip at the end of a pipe, was leaking water. The flange was connected to the main water line.

They also discovered a smaller leak on a lateral pipeline that was connected to the hydrant.


Hinchey said what started out as a planned repair turned into an emergency operation.

The northbound lane of South Coast Highway was closed off during repairs, which affected traffic. A traffic signal also went out, and Laguna Beach police assisted in directing traffic, she said.

Hinchey said that the Water District tries to do all repairs at night in an effort to not impact traffic, but a negative outcome outweighed that concern Wednesday.

If not repaired, she said, the main line could break, causing flooding, mud and debris to enter the roadway.


All work was projected to be completed by 5 a.m. Friday.

Twitter: @joannaclay