ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Crews worked non-stop Friday to clean up after a messy water main break on a busy local roadway, one day before one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
The mess is right in the heart of the North Hills shopping district.
Water main breaks and frigid temperatures are a destructive and dangerous combination.
Crews now have the one on McKnight Road under control, but the impact lasted well into Friday night. Rush hour drivers and holiday shoppers were creeping along the bustling corridor, often in gridlock.
“We missed a turn and we had to spend twenty minutes going around in a circle,” said commuter, Alicia Monahan.
“We’ve been waiting a really long time,” added Jenny Elkadi, another commuter. “We just want to go to Panera, and had it turn into a 30-minute drive.”
However, that’s no comparison to the long hours the repairs crews put in Friday. Teams with West View Water Authority have been on scene since 3 a.m.
“The main is back in service, they’re just finishing filling it up and McCandless Sanitary is making a repair on their sewer,” Jay Ebbert, of the West View Water Authority, said on Friday evening. “We’ll start the back-fill soon.”
The rupture in the 16-inch main happened about 2 a.m. The water turned to ice and both sides of McKnight Road were shut down.
Businesses lost water service and Ross Park Mall didn’t open on time. Later, there were partial lane closures, snarling traffic on a busy day.
As of Friday night at 11 p.m., the northbound side of the road was still down to one lane. Officials say they hope to get the busy stretch fully opened for a busy shopping day on Saturday.