MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the vast majority of residents and businesses affected by Thursday afternoon’s water main break, the water is now safe to drink as water pressure has returned to normal.
The City of Minneapolis did say that about a half dozen buildings in the immediate area of the break are still without water, as city crews are working overnight to fix the situation.
Those buildings affected are along Second Street North, from Third Avenue North to Hennepin Avenue.
The downtown flooding incident that poured 14 million gallons onto Minneapolis streets stemmed from a 36-inch water transmission line rupturing after being struck by private contractors working on a development project at Hennepin Avenue and Second Street North.
Before it could be fixed, thousands of people downtown were left wondering when showers and facets would flow again – from restaurants to condo owners. Even the Guthrie was forced to cancel tonight’s performance as multiple restaurants told employees to go home early and closed up shop for the night.
Spoonriver restaurant pushed on through, however.
“It’s a big inconvenience, but we’re open for the neighborhood,” said Brenda Lee Langton of Spoonriver. “We have paper plates and bottled water and a limited menu.”
As the water drains from the street, city sanding and grader crews are out preparing Hennepin Avenue to reopen. For the time being, Hennepin Avenue remains closed between Washington Avenue and Main Street, including the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, and it is not expected to be open for the morning rush hour. The bridge is open for traffic between Northeast and Nicollet Island.
There are other street closures and local closures of a few streets near the site of the transmission line break.
The following streets are closed at this time, and will be reopened as quickly as possible:
• Hennepin Avenue from Washington Avenue to Wilder Street (on Nicollet Island)
• Second Street North from Hennepin Avenue to First Avenue North
• First Street North from Hennepin Avenue to First Avenue North
• First Street South from Hennepin Avenue to Marquette Avenue
• West River Parkway from Fourth Avenue North to Portland Avenue South
• First Avenue North is closed at Main Street (which normally flows onto the Hennepin Avenue Bridge)
The following blocks of street are only open to local traffic for the time being:
• First Avenue North from Washington Avenue to First Street North
• Second Avenue North from Washington Avenue to First Street North
• Second Street North, from Third Avenue North to First Avenue North
• First Street North, from Third Avenue North to First Avenue North