A massive water main break that occurred over the weekend in Tempe has closed several freeway stretches and made repairs necessary.
A 24-inch city of Tempe water transmission line broke overnight May 8 in the middle of the U.S. 60, leading to flooding and the temporary closure of the full freeway between Loop 101 and Rural Road.
City crews identified the source of the break on May 9 and have been working to shut off the water so repairs may begin to the damaged freeway. The break is at the top of the McClintock Drive westbound off-ramp, between the McClintock Drive overpass and pedestrian bridge, according to a news release from the city.
“Crews have been working pretty much around the clock to try to shut the water off,” said Mark Weber, Interim Deputy Municipal Utilities Director for Tempe.
There is currently no estimated time for the freeway to reopen, the city said. There is also no cost estimate for the repair work.
The Arizona Department of Transportation is assisting Tempe with the issue. ADOT is advising the use of Loop 202 Santan or Red Mountain freeways as alternates as the U.S. 60 remains closed between the I-10 interchange and McClintock Drive.
This is the first break of its kind of a transmission line in Tempe.
The city said it is bringing temporary water to nearby non-residential buildings that will be impacted once all water valves are shut off.
"No residential water customers are impacted," the city said in a statement.
Due to the flooding on the U.S. 60, which is requiring repairs to the pipe that burst, Weber said repairs are necessary to make that portion of the freeway safe for drivers once again.
“We’re in repair mode where part of the freeway has to be fixed,” he said. “The pavement lifted up and so it cracked and became unstable, so we had to remove portions of the freeway to make it safe again.”
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