Manager’s Update – January 31, 2013
If you drove by the Heritage District, followed Twitter or read the news last weekend, you probably heard about the water main break on Gilbert Road near downtown. The pipeline, which was installed in the early 1970’s, broke Friday afternoon, and I am proud to say that Town staff responded in a timely, professional, and in an all around impressive manner.
These types of issues usually occur at the most inopportune times and this was no exception. Staff worked through record breaking amounts of rain to ensure that the pipe was repaired as quickly as possible in order to prevent flooding and restore traffic access to Gilbert Road. Cold and rainy weather were just a few of the challenges faced as failed valves, abnormally thick pavement depths, and the close proximity to an active railroad also played a part. It was truly a cohesive team effort between several departments including Public Works, Water, Wastewater, Risk Management, Police, Fire, Communications, and the Manager’s Office. Along with Town staff, I would also like to commend Union Pacific for their quick response as well as the community and local businesses for their patience as we fixed this unanticipated issue.
There is still much to be done to repair the road and ensuring that local businesses are not affected by the roadwork is our number one concern. For this reason, we have decided to hold off on any additional road closures until after Super Bowl weekend.
Incidents like this remind us that Gilbert is maturing and, as our Town ages, so does our current infrastructure. For so long, Gilbert’s focus was on building new infrastructure to accommodate the massive growth, but now it is also imperative that we look to maintain what is already built.
With this in mind, the Town is creating a long-range infrastructure forecast and a long-range revenue forecast. It is critical that we take time today to prepare for 5, 10, 20, 30 years in the future. I will be discussing our long-term infrastructure forecast in an upcoming update.
Once again, thank you to Town staff for providing “best in class” service last weekend.
-Patrick Banger, Town Manager