Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Street damaged by water main break

This is all the way on the north side but this is something. I almost wonder what is it like to have a street collapse right in front of you and you see a virtual lake or river in front of your home or business. Story from the Tribune and the picture posted here is also from the Tribune...
It will take about two weeks to repair the street that collapsed because of Tuesday morning's water main break that created a small lake on the North Side, city officials said.

Montrose Avenue will be closed between Wolcott Avenue and Honore Street, said John Spatz, commissioner for the city's Water Management Department.

A 36-inch, 100-year-old water main burst overnight, leaving a 15-foot-deep hole in Montrose that measures about 80 feet in diameter, Spatz said. The resulting flood partially submerged parked cars and rerouted CTA service. Officials said they are looking for the cause.

The area bounded by Ravenswood Avenue on the east, Lincoln Avenue on the west, Berteau Avenue on the south and Sunnyside Avenue will be closed through at least Tuesday for the immediate cleanup. Cars now in the area will be allowed to leave.

The cast-iron main burst about 1:30 a.m. near Montrose Avenue and Wolcott Street, forcing police to close an area of several square blocks. The CTA briefly shut its Brown Line Montrose station and rerouted two buses.

"It was a dramatic scene; that's a lot of water to come out of the pipe all at once," said Tom LaPorte, a spokesman for the city's Department of Water Management. "The deepest was about 4 feet of water."

The water was shut off about 7 a.m., and city crews began what promised to be a long clean-up operation.

At a late-morning news conference, Richard Rodriguez, commissioner for the city's Buildings Department, pointed to a one-story structure at 1825 W. Montrose whose basement walls and floor are starting to collapse.

"The foundation and footing have basically come apart," he said.

Will Goodwin, manager of Beans and Bagels near the Montrose station, received a call at 6:30 a.m. that his coffee shop's basement contained 4 feet of water.

"Everything was floating—boxes of cups, records and boxes of receipts," said Goodwin, 33. "The entire basement is pretty much destroyed." By late morning, city officials had pumped out much of the water.

A short distance away, Jill Vandehei, 30, a Chicago Public Schools teacher, used a coffee cup to slowly bail out her four-door Mazda sedan, which refused to start. The mud line on the outside reached to the top of her tires; the one inside covered the bottom of her seats.

"I think I just ended up at a bad spot," she said, somewhat unnecessarily, of her parking spot at Montrose and Wolcott.

The water undermined the foundation of Montrose Avenue, opening a rupture with an 80-foot diameter and 15-foot depth. Several parking meters and a light pole were ripped from the sidewalk.

Why the main ruptured wasn't immediately known.

"It wouldn't be surprising to see that that the weather played a role," LaPorte said. "It went from very cold over the weekend to warmer temperatures that can cause weakness in the pipe."

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