Broken water main causes traffic headache in South Austin


by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

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Posted on December 12, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 12 at 12:40 PM

AUSTIN -- Repairs continue on a stretch of  road after a water main broke underneath it, causing traffic delays.

An Austin police officer reported seeing water seeping through the pavement on South First Street between Radam Lane and St. Elmo Rd around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Austin Water crews responded and located the break near railroad tracks along South First Street.
The eight-inch water main broke about five feet below the street. Traffic crews closed one northbound and one southbound lane of First Street while crews made repairs. They drilled through the street just before 9 a.m.
It's still unclear what caused the main to break.
“We're in a weather pattern right now where we've seen some temperatures pretty cold overnight, but last night they really weren't extremely cold. So our engineers will try to determine exactly what the cause was. It may have just been a main failure or a failure in one of the linkages, or it may just be weather,” said Austin Water spokesperson Jason Hill.
While repairs are underway, Hill says about 100 customers will be without water.
“That hopefully should only be for about four hours until these repairs can be made,” explained Hill.
The repairs are expected to be complete by early afternoon. Hill says water service will be restored at that time and the lanes of South First Street will open to traffic.

Concerns of water main breaks can be reported by calling 311.