Silver Spring water main break causes traffic bottleneck; closes school

WASHINGTON — Water main repairs continue in Silver Spring, Maryland, and southbound drivers on Georgia and Connecticut avenues should expect delays Monday morning as the flooding forces a traffic bottleneck.

A single left lane gets by water main repairs on southbound Md. 97/Georgia Avenue at Connecticut Avenue. About 300 Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) customers were still without water as of Sunday evening.

Harmony Hills Elementary School said it would be closed on Monday, a change in status from its original two-hour delay. WSSC said a water station for impacted customers has been set up at the school, located at 13407 Lydia Street in Aspen Hill, where residents can pick up water until service is restored.

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WSSC crews were still working to mend the 10-inch subterranean pipe on Monday morning. In a tweet, WSSC said the length of the breach and concrete near the pipe had made repair efforts “complicated and time consuming.”

WSSC crews responded to the scene at the intersection of Connecticut and Georgia avenues shortly after 12 p.m., when Montgomery County Police were first made aware of the situation.

Traffic ground to a halt as reddish and brown water bubbled from underneath the pavement for hours. Crews closed the valve to the main that runs through the area at around 3:30 p.m.

A bus stop at Connecticut and Georgia Avenues closed down to allow WSSC crews to get into the ground.

WSSC spokesman Luis Maya says an easy repair will take up to four hours while a more difficult repair will six to eight hours, but it depends on whether crew will have to cut a piece of the pipe or not.

“We’re trying to not impact the morning rush,” said Maya. “We’ll definitely work as hard and fast as possible to make sure that it’s ready to go so commuters in the morning are not impacted.”

WSSC crews are asking drivers to find other ways through the area.

WTOP’s Liz Anderson and Alejandro Alvarez contributed to this report. 

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