State

Water back on and fingers crossed at McHenry Village

The water was flowing freely at McHenry Village on Friday, after a week that saw two days of going without because of construction accidents.

McHenry Village property manager Bob Fleischer of Standard Management said he has been talking with center merchants and the construction company working on the new CVS pharmacy to resolve the problem and ensure it does not happen again.

On Tuesday and Thursday, crews working under general contractor Simac Construction broke water mains that supply the shopping center, leaving some 60 merchants without water for the majority of both business days.

The disruptions forced most of the center's eight restaurants to close for both days.

Fleischer said the break Tuesday happened as crews finished demolition and Thursday during excavation for new electrical work. A different line was hit each day.

He said the construction workers told him the location of the pipelines was not marked correctly before excavation began.

Jessica Smart, public information analyst for Modesto, said the city is responsible for marking water lines only on public property and stops at private property lines.

Water mains on private property are the responsibility of the owners and those contracted to do the work on the site.

Fleischer said contractors had called Underground Service Alert, which initiates contact with all utilities to mark the public lines. The service does not mark lines on public or private property.

"It's an old shopping center, built in 1953, so a lot of things have changed," Fleischer said. "These things happen, it's not unusual. But it is unusual to have it happen every other day."

Fleischer said center management is working with merchants and asking them to submit reimbursement claims for lost business, which will be forwarded to CVS and the contractor.

Simac Construction project manager Bob Richards e-mailed The Bee to say the company had "No comment at this time."

Fleischer said he has been in contact with the construction company and is confident the situation will be "satisfactorily resolved."

"There is no dispute of what happened. It may take a little doing, getting supporting documents," he said. "It's just tough. I've tried to tell (the construction company) to be just a little more careful and take their time. We all have our fingers crossed for the next few months until construction is finished."

Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at mrowland@modbee.com or 578-2284.

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