As of 11am, traffic was being routed around the 5900 block of Vista Drive after a portion of the road surface was discovered to be rising up creating a 4-foot by 4-foot bubble.
Shortly after 10am, 911 dispatch received a call advising of the unusual bubble and a Ferndale Police officer was dispatched to investigate. When they found the road surface had been raised an inch or more in the center of the Vista Drive, south of Gardiner Drive, they closed off that section of Vista Drive and alerted Ferndale Public Works crews. A small amount of water could be seen percolating from the raised surface and a ditch further south on Seamount Drive had a small stream of water flowing into it from under the road
“Road Closed” signs have since been set up at Seamount Drive and Gardiner Drive and traffic is being detoured around the closure via Malloy Avenue to the east or Water Garden Street and Augustine Drive to the west.
Unfortunately, the road closed signage and barricades did not deter a group of bicyclists who rode past the barricades and continued toward the work area. A Ferndale Police officer interceded and enforced the road closure before they reached the work area. No citations were issued and the group was advised to follow the posted detour signs to get around the work area.
The Public Works crew uncovered the cause of the rise in the road surface. It was a break in a residential water line connected to a water main. According to Public Works Supervisor Bo Westford, the break was close to the water main but did not involve it which means only the one address served by the failed line will see a loss of water pressure during the repairs.
The break was located several feet northwest of the bubbling section of road. Crews immediately focused on the area where they suspected the break was but it was not until after more than an hour of cutting through and removing the road surface they were able to confirm it was the correct location.
Initial estimates are both lanes of Vista Drive would likely reopen later this afternoon but the center lane would remain closed the condition of the road surface compromised by the bubbling could be further assessed.
Westford said both lanes of Vista Drive have been reopened but the center lane remains closed to keep traffic off the compromised area. Westford said the size of the boil was already noticeably reduced.