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Crews excavate water pipe that caused landslide, damage to Bellevue home

The excavation is part of the investigation into the cause of the water pipe burst earlier this year that caused a landslide and led to the demolition of the home.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Investigative excavation began Thursday at the site of January's water pipe burst that led to a landslide and ultimately the demolition of a Bellevue family's home.

John and Barbara Surdi's home on 139th Place in Bellevue came off its foundation after a city water pipe burst and caused a landslide on Jan. 17.

Bellevue utilities confirmed in March that the 8-inch water main was the source of the rushing water in the area that led to the landslide, but the city had not yet determined what led to the break in the pipe.

The contractor began excavating the water pipe on Thursday and the work is expected to take a couple of weeks. The city said the excavation is part of the investigation into the cause of the water pipe burst. It said it is working cooperatively with the Surdi family and the Forest Ridge School, which owns the adjacent property. There is no timeline on when the investigation will be complete, according to the city of Bellevue. 

The home was demolished in February after the city filed a complaint against the family for not allowing the structure, which was standing at an angle above a public road, to be removed.

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The family announced in March that it is seeking over $5 million in damages.

Attorney David Bricklin said the city was negligent in not addressing decades-old asbestos concrete pipes and putting in measures that could have prevented the rupture and subsequent collapse of the family's home.

Among the claims included were that the city's asbestos concrete distribution pipes were prone to "cataclysmic failure" and Bellevue did not set aside sufficient funds to accelerate the process of replacing them.

Two of the Surdi children, Caitlin Antoncich and Connor Surdi, also pre-filed claims seeking damages for personal property lost in the landslide and subsequent collapse of the home.

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