Broken water main on Burnside hurting businesses

Broken water main on Burnside hurting businesses
(Photo by Portland Water Bureau)

PORTLAND, Ore. – The water-main break that’s shut down a section of W. Burnside for three days is proving to be a difficult fix.

Thought the road was originally supposed to reopen Tuesday, the city is now saying that finishing the job before Monday might even be a reach.

The culprit: Rain is making it difficult to repave the street.

It’s understandable, but it’s more than a little problematic for business owners in the neighborhood.

Warren Becker, who owns the Blue Collar Baking Company, has already taken a serious hit. He said he lost a month’s worth of supplies when the power was cut.

“I had to go out yesterday and spend $1,000 on supplies just to get through the end of the week,” he said. “And for a small business person whose rent is due tomorrow, it's tough.”

Two city commissioners stopped by Thursday to try to bring Becker’s business some attention – they said it’s all they can do.

“When you have thousands of miles of pipes, the truth is you're doing triage,” said commissioner Nick Fish. “We can't anticipate is the impact of cold weather and then vibration on old pipes.”