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City plans to replace ancient breaking water main in 2016

The troublesome water line that burst last night under the Jones Falls Expressway – the pipe’s third major break since 2009 – is scheduled to be replaced within three years.

The Department of Public Works said replacement of the 30-inch cast-iron main running underneath Madison Street – which a supervisor told The Brew was originally installed in 1861 (“That’s the year Lincoln became president and the Civil War started!”) – is considered a high priority and is already in design.

Construction of a new main, running about one mile from the JFX to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., is scheduled to begin in 2016.

Last night’s break under the JFX was the third since February 2009. Last November, the pipe burst half a block to the west, closing Madison Street between Guilford Avenue and Calvert Street for nearly a week.

Water Outages

Madison Street will remain closed between Fallsway and Guilford for an undetermined time as crews begin to assess the damage of last night’s break.

Residents and one business on the 800 block of N. Calvert Street are without water, a DPW spokesman reported this afternoon. Another nearby apartment building is without water service.

Customers in Mt. Vernon who experienced temporary water outages are asked to run their taps for several minutes to remove sediment. DPW says customers without water should call 311.

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  • Matthew Riesner

    Just remember, these instructions are being given by a DPW that can’t keep it’s own lines working and free of debris. I wish that we had some kind of recourse when we need to replace our home’s/business’s clogged water mains, hot water heaters, pipes etc. when the damage is due to debris that is introduced by the DPW’s dirty water system.

    • ham_snadwich

      You can file a claim against the City, but it’s unlikely that City maintenance has much to do with your water service failing. My guess is that you have a galvanized service that you’ve never paid much attention to until it failed. That’s the price you pay for deferred maintenance.

  • ecogordo

    This is very bad for the small businesses in the shopping center at Guilford & Madison, not to mention the residents of Mt Vernon. How does the city except small shops to survive when Guilford is shut down over and over again.

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