Broken water main causes problems along Gulf Fwy

February 11, 2011 2:37:09 PM PST
Temperatures in the 20s can make water main breaks even more dangerous and we're seeing that first hand in southeast Houston. At around 3:30am, a broken water main bubbled onto the feeder road along the Gulf Freeway inbound at Park Place. The water froze, creating hazardous road conditions. City crews sanded and de-iced the area.

It took crews several hours to get the water turned off. Now the repairs have to be done underground. For that, crews are digging up part of the feeder road trying to find the break. A supervisor told us that they hope to find the break and cover the hold with a large steel plate in order to open up the feeder road again.

The supervisor says they are dealing with a 12-inch pipe that runs along the northound feeder and crosses under the freeway to the southbound feeder.

Some homes and businesses will be without water for about three to four hours after the valve was shut off. The repair is expected to take about seven hours total.

Officials closed the inbound exit ramp for Broadway and Park Place, because the crews need space to dig up the feeder road and repair the broken water main.

The water main break was believed to have been caused by the cold weather. Breaks become more common in extreme weather conditions. City crews can have to deal with as many as 200 a day in cold weather, compared to 125-150 on a typical day.

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