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Posted at 7:35 PM ET, 05/17/2010

K St. tied up by water-main repairs

By Erica Johnston

Traffic in the K Street corridor in downtown Washington was backed up Monday evening while crews made emergency repairs on a broken water main.

The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority said traffic was blocked on 21st Street NW between K Street and Pennsylvania Avenue Monday evening while a valve was installed in one phase of the repair project.

The full repair of a broken T-shaped water main connection in that area is expected to be “a big job,” said WASA spokeswoman Pamela Mooring. Plans were made late Monday to carry out the work at night to avoid further traffic disruptions, she said.

Closing 21st Street came because the leak “was so heavy” that the start of repairs “couldn’t wait,” Mooring said.

Installation of the valve required shutting off water to buildings in the immediate area, Mooring said. Because the area involved is an office and commercial district, the shutoff was to begin at 4 p.m., near the end of the business day. She said WASA hoped to restore water service there by midnight Monday.

WASA said the T-connection broke on a 12- inch water main on Pennsylvania Avenue between 19th and 21st Streets NW. The main is more than 150 years old, said WASA spokesman Alan R. Haymann, and dates to 1859.

The area is about three blocks west of the White House, but water service there was not affected, authorities said.

-- Martin Weil

By Erica Johnston  | May 17, 2010; 7:35 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, DC, Traffic and Transportation  
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