Skip to Content

ODOT contractor hits Greenwood Avenue water main in NE Bend, sending ‘a little tsunami’ down Sixth Street

(Update: Repair complete, flaggers no longer controlling traffic)

Oil-change business figures to be closed a few days for cleanup

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The first day of summer became something of a bummer for Bend Express Lube owner Louis LaMotte Tuesday afternoon when a contractor on ODOT’s Northeast Greenwood Avenue project hit and broke a city water main, sending water surging down Sixth Street and into his business’s basement.

“It was like a little tsunami coming toward us, that’s for certain,” LaMotte said about an hour later as the cleanup got underway.

ODOT spokeswoman Kacey Davey said crews were working on an enhanced pedestrian crossing at Sixth Street and Greenwood Avenue (which is also U.S. Highway 20) when the break occurred.

Troy Beck, the city of Bend Water Department’s field operations manager, said it appeared the contractor hit a 12-inch, roughly 50-year-old cast-iron water main with a rock hammer around 2 p.m.

“We’ve got it under control,” Beck said an hour later, with no customers out of water service. The break was isolated from the north and south.

Sixth Street was closed due to the break and flooding, but Greenwood Avenue traffic was getting through, with one lane in each direction for a time.

Davey said ODOT’s vactor (suction) trucks were sent to remove the water. Repairs were underway by late afternoon, with Greenwood traffic being flagged through on one westbound lane; repairs were completed and flaggers no longer flagging traffic by 10 p.m.

LaMotte said he expects his oil-change business to be closed for a few days of cleanup.

“We’ve got about 20 inches of water in our basement,” he said. “That’s also where we store some oil. Everybody’s doing their best to get it cleaned up.”

Author Profile Photo

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.



  1. Did not maintain locate marks?
    Did not pothole pipeline ( maybe with a VACTOR)?
    Did not provide spotter?
    Who’s the cowboy contractor, ODOT, Z21?

    1. It is on the contractor since they were the ones that did the damage. Contractors are required to carry insurance if they cannot cover the bill out of their pocket.

Leave a Reply

Skip to content