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Light Rail Could Be Closed For Weeks After Water Main Break In Downtown Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Problems are mounting in downtown Baltimore after a water main break and underground collapse earlier this week.

City officials said light rail service from Camden Yards to North Avenue could be disrupted for "weeks."

The Department of Public Works said crews will be busy creating a bypass for a damaged 36-inch storm drain ahead of expected rain Thursday to avoid flooding.



A portion of a light rail platform on Howard Street near the intersection with Pratt Street collapsed Tuesday night.

WJZ was on the scene as workers used a crane and other equipment to dig debris out of the sinkhole.

The problems started Monday when a decades-old 12-inch water main broke, flooding the area.

A Department of Transportation worker became trapped underground while trying to turn off electricity. He remains in the hospital. WJZ has learned that his name is Troy Cook.

Cook was admitted into the ICU after the incident. He is out of the ICU now but remains at Shock Trauma.

"We continue to think about him and his family." said public works department spokesman Jeffrey Raymond.

The flood also caused a CSX train to derail. Early Wednesday morning, CSX was able to remove that train and is now running trains through the Howard Street tunnel at slower speeds of 5 to 10 miles an hour, according to city officials.

Now, work to stabilize the ground is underway so repairs can be made.

Officials declined to comment on the cost of the repairs.

Officials believe they can reopen Pratt Street by Friday to vehicle traffic. But it could take weeks for the MTA Light Rail to reopen. At this time, there's no exact timeline.

DPW Director Rudy Chow said they are working on restoring the area first and making it safe before they proceed to make actual repairs.

Crews will be busy creating a bypass for a damaged 36-inch storm drain ahead of expected rain Thursday to avoid flooding, DPW officials said.

Light RailLink service continues to be temporarily suspended between North Avenue and Camden Yards stations.

DPW engineers and inspectors are working with CSX, BGE and others to make sure the area is safe for workers to begin repairs. They are also making sure other tunnels, water and sewer lines and electric lines have not been compromised.

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