BARRE — A high-pressure water line blew out Wednesday night, creating a massive sinkhole in the middle of Third Street that prompted the residential street’s closure to through traffic.
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” 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 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 Thursday while the high-pressure line was being repaired.
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