Water main break forces businesses to close on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville


Workers with the Kennebec Water District work at the site of a water main break on Kennedy Memorial Drive in front of McDonald’s restaurant in Waterville on Friday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — Water service was restored to several businesses on Kennedy Memorial Drive on Friday afternoon several hours after a broken water main forced their closure when water gushed up from the ground.

The break occurred on the side of the road between McDonald’s restaurant and Irving Circle K, according to Roger Crouse, superintendent of the Kennebec Water District. The broken main also affected Pizza Hut, the Elmwood Hotel, Taco Bell and KFC.

“We finished the repair and water is restored now,” Crouse said at 2:15 from the scene. “They’re all back in service.”

The break was reported around 7 a.m. and a crew from the water district responded and excavated the site, closing one lane of Kennedy Memorial Drive between McDonald’s and Irving, Crouse said.

“There was a lot of water coming out of the ground so it didn’t take long for people to notice,” he said.

He said there was no specific reason for the break. Excavation work started around 10:30 a.m. and the break in the 8-inch ductil iron pipe was discovered about five feet in the ground, he said. Because the break occurred on the side of the road, the road and pavement did not have to be dug up. Crouse said the pipe was installed in 1966.

Crews were expected to remain at the scene for another couple of hours as they worked to fill in the hole, according to Crouse.

He said the break occurred around the circumference of the pipe, so a clamp was wrapped around the pipe and the repair is expected to last decades, he said. Had the break been longitudinal, workers would have had to cut a piece of pipe and the repair would have taken longer, he said.

“In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t that bad and there were few disruptions,” Crouse said.

He said water district workers did their best to minimize the impact to customers as they excavated and repaired the break.

“Our crew worked really fast to get it back in service as fast as we could,” he said.

In February and April 2020, workers repaired water main breaks on Appleton Street downtown.


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