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Repairs Underway After Massive Water Main Break

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Fort Worth will try to replace a massive, broken water main that runs underneath Interstate 30 and it's access roads at Beach Street without disrupting traffic.

No homes are affected by the break. But the repair is a job the city would like to do quickly since any other water main breaks could severely crimp the city's ability to provide water in peak usage months.

"We are going to hope that we can get this line back in service as swiftly as we can," said Fort Worth Water Department spokesperson Mary Gagliuzza. "But again swift is still a matter of probably a few weeks."

Water poured out of the pipe on both sides of the interstate Sunday night, creating a swimming pool size crater next to a church parking lot on the north side of the freeway. Just trying to figure out where the break happened and why could take days. But there is little doubt the repair is a big job.

"More than likely we are probably going to be replacing 500 feet of pipe going from one side of the freeway to the other," Gagliuzza said.

That's twice the length of almost two football fields. They will also have to check the protective casing surrounding the pipe for damage.

The engineering trick will be pulling the pipe out and replacing it without having to dig up the access roads and blocking traffic.

"We're not planning to disrupt traffic," said Gagliuzza. "We're not planning on open trench construction. But that's what's going to add to the challenge of making this repair."

They'll also look for what caused the line to fail since this is a relatively new water main installed in the 80's.

"We got some old pipe that's in really good shape and some young pipe that isn't," Gagliuzza said. "It's just the luck of the draw in some ways. Different factors come into play."

Gagliuzza said remotely piloted television cameras will be used to inspect the pipe on Tuesday to better assess the damage.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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