Crews are working to repair a water main break along West Jefferson Boulevard near Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center that caused a wet and icy mess.
The break happened sometime before 9 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Jefferson and Apple Glen boulevards. That’s near the southwest entrance to the mall by Von Maur.
Water could be seen leaking out of a hole in the right westbound lane of Jefferson Boulevard. The water spread throughout the right lane and right turn lane for Apple Glen Boulevard.
Crews set up a flashing arrow traffic sign and cones to block off the two lanes leading up to the intersection. They also appeared to have channeled the water to run down into a retention pond off the road.
Water was still pouring out of the road around 8:30 a.m. causing ice to form on all of the westbound lanes of Jefferson Boulevard.
An 811 worker was briefly on scene marking the road for fiberoptics, but no utility crews were working to stop the water from just after midnight to about 8:30 a.m.
Fort Wayne City Utilities spokersperson Frank Suarez explained Tuesday morning that all of their five-man crews were tied up working to repair other water main breaks around the city Monday night and Tuesday morning.
They weren’t able to confirm the break until around midnight, then they had to wait for fiberoptics, electric, and gas lines to be marked before they could return to work on the broken water main.
A crew arrived to begin the process of fixing the pipe around 8:45 Tuesday morning. It wasn’t immediately clear how long it would take to fix or how much water was lost.
Suarez said water main breaks are very common this time of year when temperatures reach extreme lows. In fact, city crews responded to 10 water main breaks in 30 hours Monday into Tuesday, including seven on Monday alone.
A city truck was making rounds spreading salt on the one open lane to help reduce ice, but extremely cold temperatures near zero degrees hindered its effectiveness until later in the morning.
The city urged motorists to be careful driving through the area and expect backups and delays throughout the morning as traffic is reduced to one lane. Other nearby streets were also slick as vehicles carried water with them and it dripped off onto the freezing surface.