WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Repair To Baltimore's Broken Water Main To Last 3 Weeks

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Damage from the major water main break that snarled traffic in downtown Baltimore Monday will take three weeks to fix, according to the Associated Press.

Public works officials say repairs to the broken 20-inch water main downtown near the Inner Harbor will could continue to cause congestion problems during rush hour for nearly a month as  and 700 feet of it will need to be replaced. Drivers are being warned to stay away from Light Street between Redwood and Lombard streets if they want to avoid the worst of it.   

The broken main was installed in 1889, and was listed as a "high risk" three years ago, according to the Baltimore Sun. A connecting 10-inch main, built in 1914, did not break, but will be replaced as part of a proactive approach; that pipe was also categorized as "high risk" in the city report.   

The mains are buried 7 feet beneath the streets and repairs will require significant excavation. While they're being fixed, temporary lines will be installed to get water to six businesses that lost water in the break.

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