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Multiple water main breaks shut down downtown San Diego roadways

Posted at 6:55 AM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 00:43:32-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Three lanes on northbound Interstate 5 have reopened after public utilities crews have spent more than 24 hours working to repair two water main breaks.

According to the California Highway Patrol, at around 7 p.m. Sunday, water from a broken pipe along state Route 163 broke through the windshield and passenger side window of an Uber vehicle traveling on the ramp from SR-163 to northbound Interstate 5. The incident caused an unknown injury to the rideshare’s passenger, the CHP reported.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, the transition from southbound SR-163 to northbound I-5 remained closed.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said the pipe that broke along SR-163 was a 62-year-old, 24-inch, concrete-enforced steel pipe.

The mayor said that as freeway repairs continued Monday afternoon, Caltrans officials will have to determine how safe the freeway is before reopening it fully.

Earlier Sunday afternoon, at around 3:30 p.m., repair crews were called to the East Village in response to a water main break on 11th Avenue and A Street.

RELATED: East Village water main break causes road closures, floods nearby buildings

Gloria said the 16-inch, cast-iron pipe that broke and sent water flowing down streets was 76-years-old.

The rushing water from the break flooded a Shell gas station parking lot on A Street and seeped into the first floor of a high rise building nearby.

City officials told ABC 10News the repairs were expected to be completed by the start of the Monday evening commute.

As crews worked to replace the broken pipe, residents like Phil Korngold were keeping eye on the progress.

Korngold said, “I’m just trying to go with the flow of things. I’ve been watching, they’ve been doing a good job. I’m glad they managed to control it.”

Korngold told ABC 10News that he has taken advantage of the water wagons, adding, “I’ve been down here several times with a big pail and a pasta pot.”

As of 6: 20 p.m. Monday, water has been restored to businesses and residents.

A boil water notice was issued to nine addresses with water service connections. The specific addresses affected include:

  • 545 Laurel St. 
  • 2302, 2350, 2395 and 2402 Sixth Ave.  
  • 1210 11th Ave. 
  • 1280 12th Ave. 
  • 1011 and 1110 A St. 

State regulators will determine how long the boil water notice will be in effect based on daily testing.

The causes of both breaks are under investigation.