Major water main break during rush hour stalls traffic, closes business

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -{}A water main break in Little Rock during rush hour caused major traffic headaches for drivers Wednesday afternoon.

Crews were forced for dig a large hole in the middle of University and Asher Avenues to find the break. Now the company behind the incident will have to foot the bill to cover the damage.

"A private contractor was boring under University and in the midst of doing that they struck a 12-inch concrete main," said John Tynan, spokesperson for Central Arkansas Water.

And this is what happens when a major water main is cracked in the middle of a major intersection during rush hour.

"The 12-inch concrete main is about 7 feet down in the ground it's essentially a crack that goes halfway down the pipe itself," said Tynan.

The leak forced crews to close to lanes on University southbound and shut down part of the northbound lanes while they dug a 20-foot wide hole to the source of the problem. During repairs, 19 businesses went without water for nearly six hours.

"when a situation like this occurs where it's in the middle of a high traffic, there's a significant size main, with a significant amount of water coming out, obviously that affects traffic flows, it affects public safety," said Tynan.

And although officials can't put a price on the inconvenience caused to drivers and business owners Wednesday, they can tally up how much it cost to clean up this mess.

"The contractor that was doing the boring is responsible and they are responsible for covering all of CAW's costs, as well as any additional asphalt repair costs that come as a result of these repairs," said Tynan.

Water service was restored to all of the businesses affected by 8 p.m. Wednesday night.