River Road in Bethesda reopens after main break


January 02, 2009|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

River Road in Bethesda, which flooded Dec. 23 after an underground water main burst, reopened to traffic at 3 a.m. yesterday.

The 66-inch-diameter pipe ruptured during morning rush hour, submerging the street and stranding commuters, some of whom had to be plucked from their vehicles by rescuers in helicopters.

The unusual scene was carried live on CNN.

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission contractors worked nearly around the clock to repair the damage, replacing five 16-foot sections of pipe that weighed 14 tons each, officials said.

The road is open in both directions between Bradley Boulevard and Seven Locks Road, but crews will be in the area for more restoration work, requiring some traffic-flagging delays, WSSC officials said.

The emergency repairs cost about $1.3 million, according to published reports.

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