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Breaking news on Light Street Water Main Work

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Light Street Water Main Update
123-Year-Old and 98-Year-Old Mains
Being Completely Replaced
Downtown is Open for Business

Public Works Director Alfred H. Foxx provided local media with an update this afternoon on the status of the 20-inch water main that broke yesterday afternoon on Light Street between Lombard and Redwood Streets. Joining Mr. Foxx was the Deputy Director of the Baltimore City Department of Transportation, Mr. Frank Murphy, and President Kirby Fowler of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

Mr. Foxx outlined the work which will be taking place over the next three weeks which will be much more than a repair, but rather the total replacement of the 20-inch main and a parallel 10-inch main. The 20-inch main was installed in 1889 and the 10-inch in 1914. The Director noted that repairing a 20-inch main of that age at this location was not a good use of resources. By replacing both old mains from Lombard St. to Baltimore St. with new ductile iron pipes, water main breaks should be eliminated for generations in those blocks.

The Director said the work will take approximately three weeks to complete. Light Street will remain closed between Baltimore St. and Lombard St. during that time. Water service will be restored Thursday, with temporary mains, to the buildings on the west side of Light Street between Redwood and Lombard Streets. Other utilities will also make repairs on their lines during this period.

Mr. Foxx outlined the Department’s plans to increase the number of miles of main rehabilitation from less than 5 miles annually to 40 miles annually over the next five years at a total cost of $300 million. That will bring Baltimore up to industry standards for water main rehabilitation. He also stated that DPW will be increasing its use of advanced technologies over the next several years to locate problems before they can cause damage. Such technologies were used recently to uncover a potential catastrophic failure in the 54-inch SW Transmission main.

Mr. Murphy and Mr. Fowler stated that Downtown is open for business and is accessible by car, mass transit and walking. While this two-block section of Light Street may be closed, it is still easy to take alternative routes, just a few streets, away to reach the outstanding restaurants and shops of our vibrant Downtown.

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Kurt Kocher Kia McLeod
Telephone: 410-545-6541 Telephone: 410-545-6541
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