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BRIGHAM CITY — It could be months before Brigham City’s Main Street is back to normal following a major water main break that created a 10-foot wide and 6-foot deep sinkhole.
An estimated 51 inches of sidewall blew out on an underground pipe connecting the east side of the road to the west side between 1100 South and 900 South on Main Street around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Some 900,000 gallons of water spilled into the streets and a nearby neighborhood. Sean Ingersoll was home when he heard sirens and saw firefighters come rushing to his backyard.
“First started going around the house, off to the south and then off to the north, both ends of the house just a river of water towards the street,” Ingersoll said.
Within a couple of hours, he said water started seeping into the basement.
“The water was (high) and was actually pouring into the concrete pad that’s underneath the floor,” he said.
Early indicators point to a quarter-size hole in the bottom of the cast-iron pipe that caused the sidewall to burst, said Brigham City administrator Bruce Leonard.
“We had the sidewall of an 18-inch diameter cast-iron pipe that completely detached from the pipe and caused significant leak,” Leonard said.
There aren't a lot of other great options. We just need people to stay away from that south Main Street area which is going to be highly congested.
–UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders
Water built up beneath the surface of the road and worked its way up to the asphalt. Both northbound and southbound lanes on Main Street (state Route 13) were impacted by the burst.
“The water pressure began to dig away at the street itself. By the time they got that shut off, there was a significant cave-in of the roadway structure in Brigham City,” said Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Vic Saunders.
Overnight, the Utah Department of Transportation helped redirect traffic as public works crews replaced several feet of pipe. Crews then patched over the hole in the road by about 2 a.m. Wednesday. It will be properly rebuilt in the spring.
“It will be some time before that roadway will be able to be repaired,” Saunders said. “That is a main route for local commerce for business and everything and so it’s a concern that we get that open again as quickly as we can.”
Saunders requested that commuters take alternate routes until Main Street can be permanently repaired.
Commuters heading north can use state Route 13 westbound to the I-15 interchange near Corinne. Northbound drivers on U.S. 89 in Perry can head west to Medical Drive and into the city from there. Those driving from Cache Valley can take state Route 90 into the city, he said. He also encouraged drivers to avoid Forest Street. They can take 500 West to Medical Drive to westbound U.S. 91 to the interstate or the alternate routes already mentioned instead.
“There aren’t a lot of other great options. We just need people to stay away from that south Main Street area which is going to be highly congested,” Saunders said.