WESTFIELD – Although only a few nearby houses were reported to be directly affected by a major water main break Wednesday, a portion of West Silver Street (which is also state routes 10 & 202) was closed for more than 12 hours while the 12-inch pipeline was repaired.
A tee juncture of the water main broke before 1 p.m. under the tree belt in front of Westfield Middle School, flooding parts of West Silver Street as well as the southern end of Holland Avenue and nearby streets.
Some residents reported discolored water but the most obvious disruption due to the break was to traffic.
Traffic was rerouted through the neighborhood to connect South Broad Street with Pleasant Street to maintain the flow of traffic on the busy north/south state highway as workers from the city’s water department, the Department of Public Works and J.L. Raymaakers & Sons dug up the tree belt to access the broken pipe.
West Silver Street was closed to traffic from Broad Street to Howard Street as water spewing from the broken pipe flooded the street and flowed down Holland Avenue.
Despite the efforts of some nearby residents who attempted to unclog the storm drains and keep the water flowing, water was ankle deep on the avenue as far as Hancock Street and beyond.
The crews worked late into the night to replace the tee joint and completed their task after midnight, allowing normal water – and traffic – flow to resume by
about 1:30 a.m. but a crew was back to work after daylight to finish filling the hole and cleaning up the site.