City struggles to keep up with water main breaks

KANSAS CITY, Mo - Usually crews with the Kansas City Water Services Department would have to fix water main breaks like Friday’s break on 16th and Walnut.

But on a busy day like Friday, they call for back up.

With the particular break, it's one of their contractors, Redford construction from Raymore, Mo.

The break ended up pouring two inches of water into the basement of the Belfry Lounge, forcing them and two other businesses to close for the day.

The brittle cast iron pipe as well the sudden temperature change is to blame for the break. That's been the case for the dozens of water main breaks in downtown Kansas City in the last five years.

"When it’s dry, the ground shifts and then in the Spring we're going to get a lot of moisture that's going to make the ground heavy and then the ground will shift again," Grant Halvorsen, a superintendent with Redford Construction said.

Halvorsen and his crew will replace the entire pipe.

"Even though the hole is right there, the old pipe has internal damage usually for the whole length of the pipe," Halvorsen said.

The crew used a durable pipe lined with concrete to keep it from rusting on the inside.

They've done 50 jobs so far and according to them, that’s quite a lot. But in his nearly two decades of doing this type of work they always promise one thing.

"We're going to have it fixed as soon as we can," Halvorsen said.

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