Vintage Oil

I was driving to work Friday morning when NPR advised me to stay away from 6th street due to an oil spill.

Pardon? This is not exactly an industrial area, and unless the Driskel Hotel has been drilling for oil (not sure why, they make enough money on the exorbitantly priced rooms), there’s not really anything down there that would would cause 20,000 of gallons of fuel oil to be running down sixth into Waller Creek, unless someone had parked, say, 500 Volkswagens on the street.

Well, actually there is. Turns out a water main broke and flooded a long forgotten oil tank, used in the mid 19th century to heat and light homes. Apparently this giant tank of oil has just been sitting under there for 100 years or so minding its own business, until it got flooded out.

Ok, so a downtown reenactment of the Exxon Valdez. The flooding and subsequent closure of the State Theater in 2006 due to another water main break. Three years to rebuild Barton springs (a mile-and-a-half stretch of road) because crews had inaccurate maps of the piping under the street. See a trend? Our tax dollars at work.