Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Commuters beware. More water main breaks mean more road closures, this time on a major intersection in the city.
Jessica Kartalija explains why we’ve seen so many breaks already this summer.
Typically, we see water main breaks in the winter when the ground gets cold and hard but the Department of Public Works says this is among the worst they’ve seen.
Another commute, another detour—this time near the Howard Street bridge where a section of North Avenue between Howard and Mount Royal will be closed in both directions.
“We want them to be aware of road closures and detours so map out where they are going before they leave home so they can avoid getting stuck,” said Rae Wallace, Department of Public Works.
The closure comes after several recent water main breaks, including one in Dundalk last week—a three foot line that affected neighborhoods from Canton to Cherry Hill—that led to other breaks like one in Federal Hill, where residents were already dealing with low water pressure.
“The 36-inch main itself is a transmission lane taking water from one area to another area and the neighborhood is feeding directly off of that,” said Kurt Kocher, DPW.
The Department of Public Works says part of the reason for the atypical number of water main breaks here in Baltimore this summer is because of water mains that are 80 years old and are larger; they are having a trickle down effect to the smaller mains, affecting the infrastructure as a whole.
Over the next five years, Baltimore will replace some 150 miles of water mains, costing upwards of $300 million.
Repairs could take three or four weeks, affecting the some 30,000 cars that use that intersection every day.
If you want to check out the detours and alternate routes, click here.