Chicago loop flooded : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Doubt if this has anything to do with y2k but if the forum decides to get into the infrastructure stuff here is a start. Posted in water and sewer. By Evan Osnos Tribune Staff Writer February 7, 2000 Loop-area commuters should expect delays and crowding on elevated trains at least through Tuesday's morning rush hour, transit officials warned today, after a broken underground water main forced the closure of three stations, and rerouted trains, buses and other traffic.

The Chicago Transit Authority's underground service was not affected by the break, which occurred about 8:20 a.m. beneath the intersection of South Wells and West Quincy Streets.

But elevated Brown, Orange and Purple Lines were rerouted to avoid the Loop's southwest corner. Stops at Quincy/Wells, LaSalle/Van Buren and Library/State/Van Buren are expected to be closed at least until midday Tuesday.

The Washington/Wells stop would offer only Orange Line service. Rush-hour Purple Line trains would not go south of the Howard stop, but could be reached via the Red Line.

Vehicular traffic would be stopped indefinitely on Wells Street, between Adams Street and Jackson Boulevard, while crews excavated the site of the break and repaired the road, according to Department of Transportation officials.

"Have no illusions," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "There is going to be a slowdown in service. Today is going to be a challenge for people."

Water Department officials continued to investigate what might have caused a 36-inch main to rupture, sending thousands of gallons of water up through the sidewalk and street.

Roughly an hour after it began, city engineers stemmed the rising tide by sealing four water mains that run beneath the intersection. Streets within the four-block area coursed with as much as eight inches of water before the level began to subside around 9:30 a.m.

Surrounding buildings did not suffer major flooding, though some faced several inches of water in basements and garages, according to the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago.

No injuries were reported, but a car and tow truck had to be hoisted from the site of the break when the asphalt collapsed underneath them from water pressure.

Officials said the broken pipe could have been caused by weather conditions, the shifting of the ground or construction in the area; but they said it could take several days to determine the exact cause of the rupture.

Tribune staff writer Jill Blackman contributed to this report.,2669,ART-41656,FF.html

-- Martin Thompson (, February 07, 2000


I work 1/2 block from where the "water main" burst. In fact, I had just gotten off of the train when it happened. It was quite a sight to see the street buckle in front of the Chicago branch of the Federal Reserve system.

When I was walking home I overheard someone discuss "contingency plans" for these kinds of events. I wonder how Year 2000 preparations factored into the amazing response time that I witnessed from city departments. Being a part of the city's Year 2000 effort (where I was a Y2K project manager for one of the larger agencies) I didn't expect us to actually employ contingency measures, but I sure am glad the preparations were fresh in our memories.

-- Antoine Neron (, February 07, 2000.

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