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UPDATE: Repairs on 16-Inch Water Main Continue

by Ethan Rothstein | December 3, 2013 at 11:30 am | 1,540 views | No Comments

Two water mains in south Arlington broke this morning, requiring major repairs and closing roads and county buildings in the process.

A 16-inch water main burst on S. Arlington Mill Drive at the entrance to the Village at Shirlington early Tuesday, closing the road from S. Randolph Street to S. Taylor Street. The break caused Abingdon Elementary School and Fairlington Community Center to close for the day.

Some neighborhoods around the area lost water service this morning, but according to Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) spokeswoman Myllisa Kennedy water has since been restored to all residents, as well as the school, as repairs continue. The line is being excavated and repairs are expected to last until late afternoon, Kennedy said.

A separate, smaller water main also broke in Nauck this morning. Repairs have closed S. Monroe Street between 24th and 25th Streets as a result.

Update at 3:55 p.m. — Repairs on the 16-inch line are taking longer than expected. Residents in Fairlington will have little or no water pressure until the repairs are complete, according to DES spokeswoman Robyn Mincher.

The leaked 16 inch pipe has been exposed and workers found a long split. It may take another 5 to 6 hours from now to complete repairs. The traffic on Arlington Mill Drive will remain closed through early evening. The north entrance from Arlington Mill Drive to the garage located in Harris Teeter will be open by 4 p.m. to accommodate the tree lighting event. The attempts to open the other feed to Fairlington area were not successful. More repairs on valves will be done at a later date. As of now, Fairlington has no water or may be experiencing very low pressure. This situation will last until the 16 inch main is repaired.

Update at 7:15 p.m. — Repairs are continuing, Mincher says, but might stretch into Wednesday.

The intersection from Arlington Mill Drive to the north entrance of Harris Teeter’s Garage will remain closed. The traffic will stop at S. Randolph St. on Arlington Mill Drive.

The repair has run into complications with excessive water draining from the pipe that required more time to pump out. The replacement will be for two sections of pipe instead of one. These complications have added time to completion. The projected time of completion is approximately 5 ½ hours from now. The crew is complying with 16 safe-hour limit and will stop to continue in the morning if work is not completed by 10 pm. Night crew is working on a valve repair to restore water to Fairlington. If they finish early, they will supplement work on the pipe repair.

Update at 10:15 p.m. — County repair crews are calling it a day. Repairs will resume after rush hour tomorrow.

Crews will resume repair work tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. after the rush hour. This is due to the complications mentioned earlier and the 16 safe-hour limit. There will be one westbound lane open to traffic on Arlington Mill Drive and police will control the traffic throughout the night.

The Fairlington area will remain on low water pressure until the valve on the other line can be fixed.

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