MacArthur Blvd. broken pipe put in ‘before Lincoln was president’

WASHINGTON — A portion of MacArthur Boulevard in Northwest that closed Wednesday after a water main broke will remain closed for the next few days, D.C. Water said Sunday afternoon.

“We’re trying to restore it as soon as possible,” said D.C. Water spokesman Vince Morris while asking for people’s understanding and patience. “I would be very hopeful that early this week we’ll be back to normal.”

MacArthur Boulevard has been blocked in both directions between Reservoir and Foxhall roads since about noon Wednesday when a 30-inch, cast iron “supply route” pipe failed.

“That stretch of water main was built in 1860,” Morris observed. “Pause and think about that for a second — it was before Abraham Lincoln was president.”

Morris said a lot of D.C. Water’s infrastructure is historic and work is continuously underway to upgrade it, but everything can’t be done at once.

When the pipe burst, water running downhill flooded a numbers of homes on Clark Place and Q Street in Northwest. D.C. Water is working with those homeowners “to try to make them whole,” Morris said.

Water was rerouted around the break in such a way that interruptions of service to customers were brief.

As of late Sunday afternoon, a new pipe was in place and the trench filled in. Morris said work that remained included pouring concrete and getting the road ready for asphalt.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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