Motorists advised to avoid Midtown water main break

Casey Grove
Erik Hill

A broken water main in Midtown Anchorage flooded C Street between Benson Boulevard and 36th Avenue just before the rush-hour commute Thursday, according to Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility.

"The break is in the center lane of C Street. We're on it. We plan on making the repair tonight, digging it," AWWU spokesman Chris Kosinski said about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Anchorage police dispatchers said the center lane of C Street was closed near 34th Avenue. Kosinski said he did not anticipate further lane closures later as repairs are under way.

After an initial report of water covering the roadway, AWWU reached the area of the break about 3:45 p.m., Kosinski said. The water and vehicles pounding potholes were damaging the pavement, he said.

"All the motion is weakening the ground underneath, and the asphalt can break away," Kosinski said.

It's unclear so far what caused the main to break, Kosinski said. AWWU must get permits approved by the state Department of Transportation to start digging, which will likely begin sometime after 10 p.m., he said. The water main is buried about 10 feet underground, Kosinski said.

AWWU customers in the area might notice lower water pressure, Kosinski said. The utility is not concerned about water contamination, as the pressurized line is pushing water out of the break, not sucking it and any debris back in, he said.

Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.