Fixing I-64 water main break may take weeks
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Fixing a large water main that broke and flooded I-64 during the Friday rush hour may take weeks, according to the City of St. Louis Water Division.
Three days after the pipe blew, water is still leaking out near the Tamm Ave. overpass near the Saint Louis Zoo. Water crews spent the weekend cutting off water lines that lead to the pipe, which authorities say is 60 inches wide, double the length first thought.
They also redirected the water grid to better serve nearby residents in Dogtown. Some say their water pressure was not usable over the weekend, especially on the upper floors of buildings.
“It was because we had to isolate that main break, so some of the normal paths of getting water to those residents was interrupted,” St. Louis Director of Public Utilities Curtis Skouby said.
The Water Division said fixing the pipe will be a time-consuming effort that will require cutting down trees near the break.
“I did not have enough pressure to keep my shower running for Friday and Saturday,” resident Heather Sturdy said. “I did have enough pressure yesterday to take a shower. But it’s probably 70%, maybe.”
A city spokesperson said a nearby sewer improvement project did not cause the break, but the actual cause is still undetermined. Skouby did not rule out corrosion, but he said it wouldn’t be clear until the city hires a contractor in the next few weeks to perform the repairs.
A state auditor recently recommended the city increase its water revenue and, in turn, rates for water service. The city’s rates have been at the same rate for 13 years, according to Skouby, who said investing in infrastructure is crucial.
“If the rates aren’t high enough to encompass the old infrastructure, it just sits there,” Skouby said.
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