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November 30, 2001

Water Pipeline Connection Fails in Mattapan - Repairs to Take Several Days

An MWRA water pipeline cracked open during a rehabilitation project Thursday causing a tree-high geyser of water and considerable road damage to Morton Street in Mattapan.

A 12" blow off pipe, connected to a larger a 36" water main, cracked open and created an explosion of water for over an hour until MWRA staff could close off valves to the section. Despite extension damage to the street, and flying rocks and rockway, there were no injuries to MWRA staff or passing cars. The water flooded both sides of Morton St, which has two lanes of traffic in each direction. The flooding water caused major damage to the southbound side of Morton Street for about a 100-foot stretch.

Water service to Boston meters was maintained using a parallel pipeline not affected by the break. There were only minor and temporary pressure losses in the region and only two complaints of discolored water in Boston. Since the pipeline break occurred in a wooded section of Morton Street, there was no non-MWRA property damage in the incident.

MDC work crews responded to the incident, cleaned out catch basins, redirected traffic and assessed damage to their roadway.

The southbound lane is not capable of carrying traffic. The center jersey barriers were removed to allow traffic to cross over, so that the normal northbound two lanes of traffic is now one lane northbound and one lane southbound.

MWRA staff and contractors will work over the weekend and early next week to fix the pipeline and repair the street.