Road Closed for the Night Due to Water Main Break

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A water main break shut down part of Eastern Avenue between 32nd Street and 36th Street and created a giant sink hole Wednesday.

It happened around noon. The road buckled and rose to the level of the curb as a result. Vista Charter Academy had to close and all activities were canceled for the rest of the day.

A Grand Rapids public works crew spent most of the afternoon removing dirt and asphalt in order to get to the broken pipe.

“[The water] was coming out pretty good,” David Shepherd, a water systems mechanic for the city said.

The crew used a vacuum to remove water that continued to flow through the broken pipe. The cast iron main is about seven feet deep from the road’s surface. One mechanic said water main breaks are common this time of year. Cooler temperatures cause the iron pipes to contract. Stress is placed on the joints as a result.

“If we get a lot… where they’ve had a lot of main breaks, they do get a company to come in, and they start replacing water main just so that it is cost efficient rather than keep going back year after year in the same area,” Shepherd said.

Workers believe water from Lake Michigan may have increased the pressure inside the pipe. The road is likely to remain closed until Thursday. After the pipe is replaced, the road will need to be repaved.

The water main break occurred right in front AT&T’s building (on Eastern Avenue.) Shepherd said the building was without water most of Wednesday as a result.

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