Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ)— An infrastructure nightmare in downtown Baltimore. Crews are trying to clean up from a major water main break.
Kai Jackson explains there’s a lot of work to do and it could be days before downtown is back to normal.
A 20-inch water main broke Monday afternoon and officials were finally able to shut the water off around 7 p.m.
The break is on Light Street near Redwood, and the water flowed down Light Street across the corner of Lombard and Pratt streets into the Inner Harbor.
While this was a relatively small main, it’s causing major problems.
“Looks terrible. It looks like a bad movie,” said Peter Terry.
It happened around 5 p.m. The city moved quickly to close roads and re-route traffic but people and businesses were affected.
“Because the road has buckled, I would classify that as being dangerous and so we’re keeping traffic off of it,” said Alfred Foxx, DPW Director.
“Nobody can get anywhere. It’s a big inconvenience,” said one resident.
The break quickly overwhelmed the city’s ability to contain it.
“Today, I was lucky. It only took me five minutes to get home but I figure my commute for the next week or so will be pretty bad,” said Kim Haynes.
“I think everyone was very frustrated when we had to increase the water rates, but this is what it’s for,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
This is expected to affect Tuesday’s rush hour. Drivers are asked to take alternate routes if possible, or to allow extra travel time. Westbound commuters should use Franklin Street and southbound commuters should use Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says she believes this break will have no effect on the Grand Prix.
No injuries have been reported.
Officials say there are approximately a thousand water main breaks a year in Baltimore.