• Water main break creates massive sinkhole
    July 18,2013

    Staff Report

    BARRE – Water service wasn’t interrupted, but Third Street was closed to through traffic Wednesday night when a high-pressure water line blew out creating a massive sinkhole in the middle of the residential street.

    City Engineer Reg Abare said it wasn’t clear what caused the break that was reported at 8:30 p.m., but the problem was quickly isolated using “gate valves” located on either end of the short street that runs between North Main and Beckley streets.

    With the break easily contained and no one believed to be without water, Abare said repairs were pushed off until Thursday morning to avoid incurring overtime expenses associated with night work.

    According to Abare, the section of 8-inch cast iron pipe is several decades old and could have fractured due to a “water hammer” caused by a fire hydrant being opened and quickly closed. He said he hadn’t had time to explore that theory.

    Third Street remained closed to through traffic on Thursday while the high-pressure line was being repaired.

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