Tab for Minneapolis water main break: $325,000

Federal Reserve building
The Federal Reserve building, at 90 Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, was surrounded by flooded streets on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 3, 2013, after a water main broke nearby.
MPR Photo/Brandt Williams

The city of Minneapolis says the water main break that flooded a busy downtown area earlier this month cost $325,000 to repair.

Minneapolis public works director Steven Kotke said that number is a preliminary estimate because some invoices have yet to come in.

He said the city has determined employees for subcontractor United Water and Sewer caused the break when they hit the 36-inch water pipe with a piece of equipment. Kotke said the pipe is old but workers repairing the damage didn't find any other problems.

"We think it's still in good shape considering the age," he said. "We had some challenges as far as matching up the new fittings with the pipe — that all worked out, so we don't anticipate any problems anywhere else."

But Kotke said the city still doesn't know the circumstances that led to the accident.

"We haven't gotten an explanation on that," Kotke said. "We're continuing to investigate. We'll be having settlement conversations with the contractor, and so as that progresses we'll probably understand more."

The water main break forced roads, businesses, and the Guthrie Theater to close temporarily. It took days to clean up and return water service to normal.