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Water main break keeps Broad Street in SLO closed Friday

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Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 03, 2022

A section of Broad Street remained closed Friday in San Luis Obispo after it was shut down Thursday morning due to a water main break.

There was a report of water on Broad Street at 3 a.m. on Thursday, prompting a closure between Capitolio and Industrial Way.

"Just because of the depth of the road here, it's the biggest excavation that we've had to do to be able to get down to make the repair," said City of San Luis Obispo Water Distribution Supervisor Marcus Henderson. "We realized that we are about 14 feet deep to the main and the water also did quite a bit of damage because of the depth of the main."

People making their early commute to work said they could see water spewing out onto the road.

"There was about six inches of standing water and a lot of people looking around at what the problem was," said Equilibrium Fitness owner Dave Pomfret.

"It’s a cast iron main from 1966 and, unfortunately, when the older mains were put in different parts of town over the last 56 years, that pipe has seen a lot of expansion and contraction and eventually it just can't hold it anymore and it ruptured," said Henderson.

The main break led to a traffic back up, forcing drivers to be rerouted.

"A lot of people been cutting through the back of our parking lot at a faster rate to speed than that is advisable," said Pomfret.

Several businesses near the main break went without water Thursday.

"We found out that there was no water coming," said Pomfret. "That was a little tough for some of our members that relied on taking a shower after the workout to get back to work. I imagine the restaurants had it a lot worse than us."

Water was restored at 11:30 p.m. Thursday night.

"We do on average two to three capital improvement projects throughout the city at different times throughout the year," said Henderson. "We work with our engineers to try to prioritize those projects so that we can make sure that we're getting the best bang for our buck and the citizens have the most reliable water that they can possibly have."

Crews wrapped up work at 1 a.m. Thursday night.

The road was being restored and re-paved throughout the day on Friday.

The expectation is that Broad Street will reopen at midnight Friday night.