Pittsburgh crews to begin road repairs in area of water leak

| Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 11:44 a.m.

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority crews expect to begin repairs on Saturday morning on two streets that were damaged by a water main break, snarling Downtown traffic for two days.

The break closed Fort Pitt Boulevard between Smithfield and Wood streets on Thursday morning. Wood Street was closed at First Avenue, and commuters could not use the Mon Wharf.

“The PWSA contractor will work through the night until water main repairs are completed,” said Tom Palmosina, director of water operations, on Friday.

Authorities discovered an 8- to 10-foot split in the 12-inch main line about 4:30 a.m. Thursday. Water poured onto the low-lying portion of the Parkway East known as “the bathtub,” between Grant Street and the Fort Pitt Bridge, for more than two hours during icy weather, closing one lane and causing traffic delays.

Some water seeped into nearby buildings, briefly trapping a woman in an elevator.

The water main is in a trench alongside a 20-inch gas line, so it required extensive hand-digging to repair, said water authority spokeswoman Melissa Rubin.

Equitable Gas workers had to make repairs to the gas line, Rubin said.

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

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