Thursday morning water main break will impact traffic on Falls of Neuse in Raleigh through evening commute
Posted June 6, 2019 4:19 a.m. EDT
Updated June 6, 2019 5:52 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The water main break that created a tall fountain and towered over stoplights in north Raleigh Thursday morning is continuing to impact the area around Falls of Neuse Road near Wakefield Pines Drive.
The water began spewing close to 50 feet into the air at 2:45 a.m., and by 5 p.m. crews were still repaving the road to fix the hole that was caused by the break, impacting evening commutes in the area.
Drivers cannot come down turn onto Wakefield Pines Drive from Falls of the Neuse Road because of the re-pavement efforts. Crews on the scene estimate the area will be closed until 6 p.m. at the earliest.
Officials are still trying to determine what caused the water main break, but they know it is not the result of an age-related failure because the system is relatively new.
Falls of Neuse Road was closed between Wakefield Pines Drive and Common Oaks. At 4:30 a.m., crews were working to turn off the water and make repairs. By 5 a.m., the "mountain" of water was not as high, but water was still spewing and flooding the roads. By 8 a.m., the water had been shut off, but repairs were still underway.
According to Raleigh officials, at least 2 million gallons of water gushed onto the roads. Ed Buchan, environmental coordinator from Raleigh Public Utilities, estimates it was more. He said a "surge of water in the area found a spot with compromised bolts," causing the water to rush.
Buchan said it took crews about five hours to stop the leak -- when they found the valve on Townfield Drive, about a mile away.
Buchan said there are about 60,000 water valves in the city.
The water main break was likely due to a corroded, faulty bolt, according to Buchan, which likely broke on a valve holding two pipes together at the intersection. Buchan said officials are still working to confirm what happened.
Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area, especially during the evening commute. As a detour, southbound traffic on Wakefield Pines Drive can turn right onto Spruce Tree Way and continue to Falls of the Neuse Road.
East and westbound traffic on Falls of Neuse Road can turn onto Spruce Tree Way then left onto Wakefield Pines Drive
This story will be updated.