WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Water Main Break Shuts Down Connecticut Ave. At Dupont Circle

Play associated audio
Crews moved in with sand and bulldozers to clean up after a water main break soaked the intersection of Connecticut Ave. and N Street NW Thursday morning.
Armando Trull
Crews moved in with sand and bulldozers to clean up after a water main break soaked the intersection of Connecticut Ave. and N Street NW Thursday morning.

A large water main break is causing problems on Connecticut Avenue NW near Dupont Circle, both snarling traffic and causing a disruption in water service for many buildings in the area.

The water main break at the intersection of Connecticut Ave and N Street NW caused a huge section of the street to buckle. Dark brown water bubbled up from underneath the road and flowed onto the sidewalk and nearby restaurants and parking garages. 

Authorities closed off the intersection, as well as the southbound side of Connecticut Avenue starting on the north side of Dupont Circle, including the tunnel beneath the circle. Traffic is likely to be tied up for much of the day as authorities begin to repair this water main break. 

The break is also affecting nearby buildings. Inside the building at 1250 Connecticut Avenue NW, D.C. firefighters tried to determine how to get rid of several feet of water around electrical junction boxes, as well as flooding in several levels of an adjacent parking garage underground.

Firefighters are shoveling away debris from in front of the building, and a bulldozer is carting it off. That building, along with 1130 Connecticut and 1200 18th Street NW were evacuated.

DC Water reports that as many as 35 commercial properties will be affected for much of the day, including those on Connecticut Ave. between N Street and Jefferson Place NW, N Street between Connecticut Avenue and 18th Street NW, and the east side of Connecticut Avenue between N Street and 1301 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Rob Davenport, who works at the building next door to where the sink hole is now gaping on Connecticut, was out on the sidewalk checking out the damage this morning. "We haven't heard much, just that we don't have any air or water right now," Davenport said.

Rebecca Gainer works on the 6th floor of 1250 Connecticut Ave. "Right now it looks like we are not going to be getting back into our building for quite some time, so we may be starting our weekend early," Gainer said.

Emergency personnel also have some concerns about the stability of the road after the break; they believe the water may have undermined some of the foundations under the street, and so the road is closed to all traffic, including pedestrians.

It's not clear at this time when water service will be restored or when the road will reopen. 


Hieronymus Bosch Died 500 Years Ago, But His Art Will Still Creep You Out

Known by some as "the Devil's painter," Bosch depicted imaginary animals and souls being violently tortured. At least one critic believes he's the father of modern art.

With A Zap, Scientists Create Low-Fat Chocolate

Scientists say they've figured out how to reduce the fat in milk chocolate by running it through an electric field. The result is healthier, but is it tastier?

The View From The Northeast Corridor: Deep Divisions Ahead Of 2016 Election

Despite a history of Democratic electoral solidarity, a trip through the Northeast finds Republicans hoping to make inroads in November and Democrats pushing for the voting power of immigrants.

President Obama Acknowledges 'Brexit' To Silicon Valley Crowd

President Obama delivered a speech Friday at Stanford University, and remarked on the Brexit vote in front of a crowd of young, tech-forward, pro-globalization attendees from 170 countries.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.