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Repair work underway on Historic West Canfield Street after water main break

The historic pavers should be restored

Photo by Robin Runyan

This weekend, residents of Historic West Canfield Street were shocked to find flooding in their street and lawns. A water main dating back to 1886 broke, damaging some vehicles parked along the street. The street is currently blocked off between Second and Third.

Crews isolated the water main on Saturday, and the water was removed. The city had no reports of basement flooding. Today, crews replaced a 15-foot portion of the 30-inch main today with new cast iron pipe. Bryan Peckinpaugh of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department tells us, “They are backfilling the hole now. Once water service is restored to the main, there will be two rounds of testing to ensure there is no bacteria in the line. We are looking at Wednesday or Thursday when that water main is fully operational. After that, Great Lakes Water Authority and its contractors will address the cobblestone repair.”

Peckinpaugh says that because the water main was located under the sidewalk, it lessened the damage to the historic street.

Dried mud covered the street today as crews worked.
Photo by Robin Runyan

Of course, this leaves a lot of questions over infrastructure throughout Detroit. The city has a five-year, $500 million capital improvement program underway to address some of the pressing aging infrastructure issues. $247 million is going to water system improvements, while $219 million is going to sewer system improvements. These projects include water mains, fire hydrants, sewer main replacements, green infrastructure, and more. 23 projects are scheduled this year, including renewing the sewer system in Jefferson-Chalmers this summer.