February 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Water main floods Detroit's downtown near Campus Martius

Crews work to repair a 24-inch water main between Congress and Fort near the city's Campus Martius Park. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Detroit — A water main break that had water gushing from the sidewalk near Campus Martius Tuesday morning should be fixed by the end of the day, according to Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department.

The rupture of an 8-inch water main between Congress and Fort forced crews to shut off the water at the First National Building and close all food-related businesses in that building, including popular coffee shop Roasting Plant.

Crews were digging to find the ruptured pipe, said department spokesman Bill Johnson. Earlier, Darryl Latimer, the department’s deputy director, originally believed the break was to a 24-inch main that would have affected multiple buildings in the area.

The front entrance of the First National Building was closed but a side entrance off Cadillac Square remained open despite the freezing water.

Asked if there was any water in the building, a Bedrock Real Estate Services employee said they were still assessing the situation. The building was open for business.

The Northbound Woodward roudabout at Congress was closed but the rest of the nearby Campus Martius roads were still open Tuesday morning.


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Tuesday’s break was the latest in a spurt that have contributed to a growing backlog of unrepaired leaks in Detroit.

Last week, a 30-inch main break had utility repair crews working through deep snow, frigid temperatures and water flooding at Buchanan and McKinley on the west side. Several vehicles, including a Detroit police car, were submersed in nearly 3 feet of water, which was pumping up from beneath Buchanan.

Earlier this month, Mayor Mike Duggan acknowledged “we have significant problems in the Water Department” after a 16-inch water main broke near the intersection of Gratiot and Conner on the city’s east side, stranding three cars and a minivan in the mini-lake that formed. At least two drivers were pulled from their vehicles by Detroit police officers.

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Water gushed early Tuesday morning near along Woodward Avenue in the ... (David Coates / The Detroit News)
Northbound Woodward at Congress was closed but the rest of the nearby ... (David Coates / The Detroit News)