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Water Main Break Causes Continued Closures

Update: Some lanes remain closed on 2222 Thursday morning after a water main break Wednesday caused part of the roadway to collapse.

Eastbound 2222 is closed between Parkcrest Drive and Balcones. The westbound lanes are open – and traffic on Balcones is open.

Update (April 9, 12:13 p.m.): Austin Water crews are still working to determine the cause and location of the break. Once that is done they can determine some sort of timeline for when repairs will take place, says Austin Water's Jason Hill.

"We brought the water pressure down, so there are a number of customers with low pressure or without water – not a lot at this particular point," Hill says. "Once we get to where the break is we’ll have a better idea of what needs to happen and how many people will actually be shut out during the repair."

After the water is stopped and the main is repaired, a separate crew of engineers will need to be called out to assess the damage to the roadway. Those engineers will determine if 2222 needs additional repairs before being reopened.

Roads remain closed on RM 2222 between Parkcrest Drive and MoPac. The intersection of Balcones and 2222 has been reduced to one lane of traffic in either direction.

Original story (April 9, 8:45 a.m.): A water main break early this morning is causing parts of the road to collapse on RM 2222 near MoPac.

The roadway damage could have the stretch of 2222 from Parkcrest Drive to MoPacshut down for most of the day.

Jason Hill with the Austin Water Utility explained how the water main break causes the road to cave in.

“The water that’s shooting out washes away the soil around it. That soil is, of course, the foundation of roadways. So, if there is damage around that main underground – we call it a washout – then that can compromise the pavement above, and you can have a roadway collapse.”

Hill said roadway damage is a possibility with any water main break, but the size of the main is a good indicator of the extent of the damage.

“Once you start getting into larger mains- 12-inch mains, 20-inch mains- when that water comes shooting out, it’s coming out with enough pressure to be able to compromise the soil around it and cause some roadway damage.”

Austin Water says the main that broke this morning is a 20-inch main.

The intersection at 2222 and Balcones was previously shut down, but has reopened for this morning’s commuters. 2222 remains closed between Parkcrest and MoPac.

Austin Water is updating the situation on their Twitter page.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.