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Cold Temperatures Wreaking Havoc On The City

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- All you need is cold weather, then warmer weather, and then really cold weather again and the water lines underneath us won't hold together very long.

They're use to it at the West View Water Authority; but just off Seibert Road in Ross Township, not so much. That's where water came pouring on to the busy road this morning.

KDKA's Harold Hayes Reports:

"Nothing like this, not since I've been here," said Joe Rozanski, of Ross Township. "I've been here for 25 years."

At N. Bellefield Avenue near Bayard Street in Oakland, a 12-inch water main break and the freezing temperatures this morning literally froze a car in place.

A hammer was as good as any other option to clear the ice from the tires.

"We're dealing with some water main breaks causing some icing conditions," Guy Costa, from Pittsburgh Public Works, said. "You'll have some areas that will freeze overnight so they'll have crews out overnight to treat the icing conditions throughout the city of Pittsburgh."

N. Bellefield Avenue was closed, but has since reopened.

"This kind of weather is really tough on our infrastructure and our system," said Melissa Rubin, Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority spokesperson. "The freeze-thaw cycle ,as you know, causes breaks. We're averaging about three to four a day."

KDKA's Harold Hayes Reports:

And like many water systems in metropolitan areas, the pipes are not new

"Most of the pipe in the PWSA system is cast iron. It's about 80-years-old is the average age," said Rubin.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Public Works spent the day keeping a constant eye on the roads.

On Friday morning, crews said they were able to make a lot of progress due to the higher temperatures.

KDKA's Christine D'Antonio Reports:

Rock salt works much better above 17 degrees, so that gave crews the ability to melt things down on the roads before temperatures plummet once again.

"The problem we're facing now is we have dropping temperatures, so we're mixing rock salt with liquid calcium to enhance the rock salt and now as planned public works should have all their streets done by late this evening," said Costa.

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