More mains break in city

MARQUETTE – Two more major water main breaks occurred in the city of Marquette Tuesday, yet another reminder the effects of the long, cold winter still lingering in the area.

Curt Goodman, Marquette director of public works and utilities, said the breaks are along Grove Street by U.S. 41 and Hewitt Avenue near Spruce Street.

Goodman said the frost levels caused the mains to freeze and split after they started to thaw. He noted city crews were finishing up work on Grove, but more work could be needed at the Hewitt/Spruce site, where a hole already was dug.

“We may do more work to prevent this from happening again,” Goodman said.

The two recent main breaks bring the season total to 26, Goodman said, adding no cost estimates of the damage have been determined.

South Seventh Street, which suffered a water pipe break on April 11 that forced the street’s closure, reopened to traffic Monday, with the city advising motorists to use caution and drive slowly through the area.

It was discovered an 8-inch water pipe, situated underground alongside a 16-inch water main, had broken, with all the substrate washing out under the road.

The city is recommending some residents continue their let-runs, a situation that’s being looked at daily, according to Goodman, who said he’s not comfortable yet with let-run advisories being lifted while nightly temperatures still are cold.

“You never know when these main breaks occur,” Goodman said. “It’s very unpredictable.”