Water main break damages street

2 SHA buildings close

E. Madison repairs may take all weekend

December 21, 2007|By a Sun Reporter

Baltimore city work crews restored water service last night to the part of the Mount Vernon neighborhood affected by a water main break a day earlier, but they said they would have to work through the weekend to reconstruct a damaged road.

The break, which occurred in the 200 block of E. Madison St., between North Calvert Street and Guilford Avenue, flooded two streets and prompted the closing of two Maryland State Highway Administration buildings, a spokesman for the Department of Public Works said.

The spokesman, Kurt L. Kocher, said the SHA buildings at 707 N. Calvert St. and 211 E. Madison St. could reopen today. The basement of the Calvert Street building suffered minor flooding. Water service was also disrupted at other buildings, including the main offices of The Sun.

Kocher said it appeared that a 16-inch water main ruptured. Workers shut off water to that line and to a 30-inch feeder line yesterday. Madison and Hunter streets were closed to traffic because of the work.

Water was also turned off at buildings for about three blocks south of Madison Street and two blocks on each side of the break, Kocher said.

Many buildings have backup lines, but the SHA building does not, he said.

Workers dug up Madison Street yesterday to assess the damage. The street buckled, which Kocher said could be a sign that the pipe split lengthwise, which is common in cold weather.

"It's going to take a while," Kocher said of the road repairs. "They could be working on this through the weekend."

SHA spokeswoman Valerie Edgar said about 1,200 employees work in the two affected buildings but that many, such as bridge inspectors, are usually in the field.

The administration's 24-hour emergency center is near Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, so monitoring the state's traffic and responding to accidents was not affected, Edgar said.

People use the SHA buildings in Mount Vernon to bid on projects, submit work plans and meet with engineers on construction work. That type of work is slow because of the holidays, Edgar said, and scheduled meetings are being postponed.

Because the payroll for the state Department of Transportation is handled at the Calvert Street office, clerks were to come in today to process checks.

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