Sewer line cave-in closes portion of East Broadway in downtown Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Several lanes of traffic are closed in downtown Louisville after a 152-year-old sewer line caved in.
MSD officials say a portion of East Broadway at South Preston Street is closed for emergency repairs to the sewer line.
The broken sewer pipe runs under the middle lanes of Broadway at South Preston Street, according to MSD officials.
MSD said in a release the three-layer brick sewer has experienced similar failures in different locations as recently as 2015, 2014 and 2009.
Five center lanes of Broadway have been blocked to traffic, leaving one eastbound and one westbound lane open.
Officials say there is no disruption to sewer service in the area during the repair.
The bricks that form the collapsed pipe began to unravel at a joint where a repair was made in 1989, officials say, according to MSD.
The small breaks in the joint, along with recent heavy rain, caused a large opening under the pavement.
MSD says the opening is approximately 10-feet by 15-feet and 8-feet deep. Crews are still trying to find the exact location of the cave-in.
Officials say the repair work is made complicated by the location of two large water pipes in the same area, and precautions are underway to protect them during repairs.
MSD was told about the problem late Friday night after a hole in the pavement was discovered following a car crash near the intersection.
Executive Director Tony Parrott said many sewer lines around the city need to be replaced.
"We think that these major assets need to be replaced comprehensively and the longer we kick the can down the road the more costly it's gonna be," Parrott said.
MSD has some advice for drivers traveling through the work zone. "The key to this is for folks to slow down, take your time, watch for the signage that we have with respect to turning lanes or no turning lanes and just pay attention to your surroundings. If you can avoid the area at all possible, try to avoid this area until we are complete. We’ll finish this as soon as we can,” said Bob Stauble, a construction inspection manager with MSD.
No injuries have been reported as a result of the cave-in. Officials say there is no estimate on when the repair will be completed.
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