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Water Main Break Impacts Downtown Commute

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Heather Abraham
Pittsburgh native Heather Abraham joined KDKA in Decembe...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A portion of the Parkway East was closed Thursday morning while crews worked to fix a massive water main break.

The break also has the potential to cause traffic tie-ups later today.

According to officials at the scene, the line broke on Fort Pitt Boulevard between Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Wood Street around 3:30 a.m.

“I round the bend and there’s like three waterfalls of water coming down on the street. Go right through it. My windshield iced up immediately. I couldn’t see a thing.” Brian Smithmeyer said. “It was unavoidable. I had my choice of which waterfall I wanted to go through.”

The 12-inch main broke and caused a section of Fort Pitt Boulevard and Wood Street. With water pumping out for two hours, traffic backups grew when PennDOT shut down lanes of the Parkway temporarily.

With a strong odor of gas, the break also forced about a dozen Point Park University students out of the Conastoga Building.

“There was a leak in the building and that the power was going to be out for a few hours so they had to evacuate everybody,” Breanna Robinson said.

Duquesne Light crews pumped gallons of water out of manholes. Equitable Gas searched for the source of a gas leak, which is believed to be the cause of the break.

Around 9 a.m., engineers and road crews finally broke ground to begin repairs.

Fort Pitt Boulevard will be closed until at least 8 p.m. and crews hope to have one lane of Wood Street open, but won’t be until this evening.

However, all lanes of the Parkway East are open.

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