UPDATE 3:45 p.m. Thursday – The main has been repaired, and the line is being slowly loaded with water. The line needs to be flushed. It should be back in service tonight.
Beach Street is remains closed with the detours still in effect. The road repair efforts have been impeded by the rain. It’s not clear exactly when the road will reopen.
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Hours after a water main break in Fort Worth and water is still causing problems for drivers and residents. A portion on N. Beach Street, between State Highway 121 and Belknap Street, is closed in both directions while repairs are being made.
Work will continue overnight into Thursday.
It was Tuesday night when the 54-inch pipe burst and before the lunch hour on Wednesday the crater around it continued to grow. Crews are busy trying to get to the pipe that is six feet underground. And reaching it won’t be the end, they’ll have to dig below the pipe and swap out the joint – a replacement part that workers are still trying to locate.
The repair work is a bit tedious because crews are also working to make sure they don’t hit a nearby fiber optic line.
Mary Gugliuzza, with the Fort Worth Water Department, said the best case scenario is for workers to temporarily patch the north side lanes of Beach Street, so they can open one lane in each direction later today.
“I don’t think people realize what it takes to provide them water to their homes every day,” Gugliuzza said. “This is part of it. It’s unfortunate when something breaks, but reliability on water service is pretty darn good and most people don’t think about it when they go turn on that tap.”
No one in the area is without water and it is drinkable, but water pressure at some homes and business has been affected.
There’s still no word on what caused the main to break.
Intermittent rain and lightning Wednesday night forced crews to halt their progress several times as they work to remove what remains of a broken 54-inch main and install a new one.
The water department said crews will use a crane to hoist two new pieces of pipe into the ground and then weld them together.
Officials say the current weather conditions and the expected rain in the near forecast will effect the speed in which they can work to fix the problem.
Johnathan Sendejo lives nearby and said, “It is bad. There’s a lot of traffic through here for sure.”
A man who goes by Big Dave added to that sentiment saying , “That’s not the first one that’s broken around here. Last year we just had a big break.”
Water department officials are warning people to stay away from the area until the work is done.
They say right now their estimates suggest it will be no at least Friday before the fixes are made and completed.