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Round-The-Clock Repairs Continue On Downtown Water Main Break

Reporting: Christine D'Antonio
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Repairs are continuing after a massive water main break created a shower in the Parkway East’s Bathtub section just as the Thursday morning rush hour was about to get underway.

It’s been an all-day fix, and now that the water has stopped, the concern has shifted to how traffic will be affected Friday.

Officials with Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority say Fort Pitt Boulevard will be closed from Smithfield and Wood Streets through Friday afternoon.

And with well over 14 hours of drilling and removing debris, crews are doing everything they can to make sure, there’s not a repeat performance for Friday’s rush hour commute.

Mick Stammera was just one of the commuters impacted by the water man break. He left work late Thursday wondering how much extra time to allot for Friday after today’s serious delay.

“It was frustrating to say the least,” said Stammera. “It was a good 50 minutes. I ended up taking a conference call from my car that I thought I would make in time.”

And while the city got the water to stop in the Bathtub early, actually fixing the 12-inch main where Fort Pitt and Wood Street intersect left an eyesore.

“This intersection had a pretty good void,” said Tom Palmosina, of Pittsburgh Water Authority. “It was probably 20-, 25-feet long and about six-, seven-feet deep.”

A few streets over on Smithfield Street, bartenders poured a beer for unaffected customers.

Staff at the One-10 Lounge say they didn’t have any water outages, and other than slowing down traffic a bit, they feel they were fortunate.

“It hasn’t affected us at all,” said Minxy Stafford, a bartender. “We’ve just had a good stroke of luck.”

Crews say the rupture was eight- to 10-feet long. Another tricky part in the repair process is a 20-inch gas main, which is located near the broken pipe. Workers had to dig some by hand because of it.

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority says the Mon Wharf parking lot will be closed on Friday as a result of the ongoing repairs. Officials expect it to reopen on Monday.

RELATED LINKS:
Water Main Break Impacts Downtown Commute (1/3/13)
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