- The Washington Times - Monday, December 23, 2002

D.C. officials say they will open two eastbound lanes of Canal Road for this morning's commute into Georgetown after a water-main break that snarled traffic during the weekend.
Constructions crews will continue to work on the broken water main, restricting travel to two of the road's four lanes.
One lane will be open for eastbound and one lane for westbound traffic during off-peak hours, and the two lanes will be dedicated to westbound traffic for the afternoon rush, the officials said.
"It ain't fixed, but we'll get the road open," a construction-crew supervisor said yesterday afternoon as his workers hurried to repair the street.
The 30-inch water main, one of the city's largest, ruptured about 9 p.m. Saturday, releasing a torrent of water that buckled the pavement and flooded Canal Road near Foxhall Road.
Firefighters had to rescue three persons trapped in cars overtaken by rushing water.
A piece of the cast-iron pipe about 6 feet long and 3 feet wide ripped from the top of the water main. The force of the water heaved large sections of pavement from the road surface and washed away the road foundation.
The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority restored service to hundreds of people in the Georgetown area Saturday night by rerouting water from another pipe, said Kofi Akrasi Boateng, director of the agency's water-service department.
He said it could take as long as a week to repair the water main, depending on how soon the agency obtains replacements for the broken pipe and steel coupling.
The parts for the water main, which is at least 100 years old, must be custom-made and flown in from a supplier in Texarkana, Ark.
Fixing the water main is not as urgent as opening the road, he said, because several large water mains supply the same area the broken pipe does.
"The biggest concern is trying to restore traffic," Mr. Boateng said. "This is a very, very heavily traveled road."
Authorities speculated that a combination of the pipe's age and the fluctuating ground temperatures caused the pipe to fracture. However, the cause of the break will not be known until metallurgists study the pipe fragments.
"We don't see too many of these," said a worker with Flippo Construction Co. Inc., the contractors repairing the water main and the road. "The old cast iron broke. Cast iron usually doesn't break."
Bill Curry, the on-site coordinator for the D.C. Emergency Management Agency, said the broken main and closed road were more of an inconvenience for commuters than a crisis for people in Georgetown.
"I've seen worse." he said. "But it is really bad for the motorists."

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