A major break in the water main under the portion of Belvedere Avenue between Dixon and Franklin streets left the surrounding blocks without water for much of Memorial Day morning – and the underground erosion from the leak caused a village public works truck to partially fall through the street.
Sal Stella, public works director, told the Review that the six-inch cast iron pipe under the street broke early that morning. Water rushed out of the five-foot-long hole, which not only caused the water pressure to drop and sent some of the water rushing out onto the street, but caused what is known as “undermining.” The ground beneath the pavement was washed away, causing the ground and the street to sink.
When the public works truck arrived on the scene and tried to park, it partially fell through the pavement and got stuck in the watery slush. Stella told the Review that the driver wasn’t injured, and Nobs Towing company was able to get the truck out. He said that while public works was able to replace the water main and restore water service, repairing the street will take a bit longer.
Stella said the water main suffered “extensive” damage that caused the entire street to undermine and the water level to drop for the surrounding homes. He said his staff immediately notified the owners of the affected homes of the situation.
When the water truck arrived, it sank into the ground. Photos taken by a local resident and shared with the Review showed the truck leaning sideways, with the passenger side wheels up on in the air and driver’s side leaning below street level.
“Due to the extensive undermining of the street, the ground gave way where our water truck was parked, and part of the truck fell into a void into the street,” said Stella. “Minor damage was caused to the truck, the driver was safe and Nobs Towing was able to get the truck out of the hole.”
He added that anyone walking around and taking photos was putting themselves in danger, since the undermining could have caused the sinkhole to form below them, too.
Once the contractor arrived, the village shut off the water.
“A 10-foot section of water pipe was replaced and the water main was flushed and then put back into service by early afternoon,” Stella said.
At around 12:58 p.m., the village posted a notice on its Facebook page warning residents that the affected block was closed due to “a road hazard caused by a water main break.” Stella said that, while the water service had been restored, fixing the damage to the road will take longer – and it would remain closed until then.
“The village is currently working on the proper steps on repairing the damaged road,” he said. “ The closure will remain until then.”