The big water pipe that brings water into the City of Ketchikan is leaking and needs repairs.

Work will start on the Schoenbar Road 36-inch water main Friday afternoon, and could last through Sunday. Water supplies are expected to be maintained during repair work, according to the city.

The work will affect traffic, but access will be provided for residents and people who want to use the Gateway Recreation Center.

If you’re just driving through, though, the city says: Choose another route.

City Water Division Manager John Kleinegger talked to the Ketchikan City Council on Thursday about the repair project. He compared it to a similar leak just down the road, near Schoenbar Creek, that also had to be repaired.

“Other places where we dug the pipe up in front of Valley Court or there where the UV facility was built, it’s in a condition that’s almost like what it looked like when we put it in 25 years ago,” he said. “But this particular area, for whatever reason, is extremely corrosive. At least in the portion we found by Schoenbar Creek, the joints between the 18-foot bell joints had not been bonded, so the cathodic protection system we have installed couldn’t resist the corrosion. We may find as we dig down, we may see a similar situation.”

The council voted to declare the water main leak a public emergency, and approved the repair project.

In other matters Thursday, the council voted unanimously to offer the job of city clerk to Deputy City Clerk Kim Stanker. Longtime Clerk Katy Suiter is retiring at the end of this month.

Thursday also was Mayor Lew Williams III’s last regular council meeting. He kicked off the evening with a tongue-in-cheek declaration of martial law, and announced that a council member, the city manager and the police chief were not present for a reason.

“They had some objections to my rulings and they have been detained,” he said, prompting laughter from the council. “This is all due to an anonymous phone call I got this morning from Oregon. This person informed me that we’ve had a Mayor Bob in Ketchikan and we don’t need another.”

Council Member Bob Sivertsen was elected this week as the city’s new mayor. Before Williams, Ketchikan’s city mayor was Bob Weinstein, who recently moved to Oregon.

Council Member Dave Kiffer later pointed out that Sivertsen will be the fifth Mayor Bob in Ketchikan’s history.

The Council’s next meeting is a special meeting on Monday to certify the results of this week’s local election.