Local News

Part of Avent Ferry Reopened After Water Main Break

Posted November 7, 2007
Updated November 8, 2007

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— Crews reopened part of Avent Ferry Road Thursday afternoon after spending most of the day repairing damage from a broken water main.

Two inbound lanes and two outbound lane were opened by 8 p.m. The other three lanes stay closed and be under construction through Friday. Crews plan to resume work on the lanes by 7:30 a.m. Friday.

The water main burst about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday near Avent Ferry Road and Gorman Street, spilling about 500,000 gallons of water. Five homes on Avent Ferry Road between Merrie Road and Gorman Street were without water Wednesday night, but their service was restored by 8 a.m. Thursday.

Repairs were hampered by a large storm drain nearby and the fact that the main was 18 feet underground, officials said.

"This particular line was a lot deeper than most of our lines," said Andy Brogden, water distribution superintendent. "We had a 42-inch storm drain about 18 to 12 inches above the water main, which made access very difficult."

Officials distributed fliers issuing a boil-water advisory to five homeowners on Avent Ferry between Gorman and Merrie Road. The fliers suggested customers boil water vigorously for 1 minute. City water officials said no other homes needed to boil water.

Officials gave no indication of when the advisory would end.

A boil-water advisory means that water is safe to use, but boiling as a precaution is recommended. A boil-water order – which was not issued – indicates that the water is dangerous for use.

Crews put in about 10 feet of new pipe and then began repairing Avent Ferry Road, which collapsed at the site of the break. Water pressure also caused parts of the road to buckle, officials said.

Paving crews had to tear up the buckled asphalt, remove wet soil and fill the holes with new soil. They then had to put down a gravel-dirt mixture and lay new asphalt on top of that, officials said.

About 80 feet of roadway was repaired on one side of Avent Ferry Road, and about 100 feet on the other side of the road, officials said.

The break likely occurred because of the change in temperature, Brogden said, noting that small movements can occur underground when the ground temperature suddenly changes.

"Those small movements, when you have a rigid pipe in the ground that doesn't want to give, something's got to," he said. "Certainly, we did not want to lose as much water as we did."