Water Main Break on the Mall

By Kriston Capps
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 4:21 PM EDT
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Water Main Break on the Mall

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Authorities have repaired a water main that broke on Friday on Constitution Avenue between 9th and 12th Streets NW, but repairs to the streets are still underway.

District Department of Transportation crews are working to make temporary repairs to eastbound lanes on Constitution Aveenue to prepare for Monday-morning traffic. But the westbound lanes of Constitution Avenue will be closed between 9th and 12th Streets NW. DDOT advises drivers to use alternate routes, including Pennsylvania Avenue and Independence Avenue.

In addition, 10th Street NW will be closed between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues. DDOT recommends that drivers plot alternate routes using 7th, 9th and 12th Streets NW.

The 9th Street and 12th Street tunnels will be open to traffic.

The water main broke Friday night, interrupting water service to a number of facilities along the National Mall.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and the Department of Justice lost water pressure. The Natural History museum was closed on Saturday as a result, but reopened on Sunday.

D.C. Water officials say the water main broke just before 10 p.m. Friday night. The water is still flowing from the main break, and officials said that the volume of water threatens the stability of the road.

"There's a lot of street damage," D.C. Water general manager George Hawkins said. "So once  we get the pipe fixed there's going to be a lot of work done to repair the street. It'll be done this weekend so we'll have this done, for sure, by rush hour on Monday."

He said that D.C. Water had not yet assessed the damage to the affected buildings. The water volume they were exposed to was significant, though.

"A 24-inch line is a big, main line," Hawkins said.

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