South Pasadena : Burst Water Line Adds to Traffic Bog

A ruptured water main has caused the closure of two blocks of Mission Street, adding major traffic problems for this city that is left temporarily with only one east-west route across its central business district. A geyser-like fountain of water burst through the Mission Street pavement at the south end of Garfield Park Tuesday night, leaving a hole about 10 feet in diameter and several feet deep. Just before the eruption, water pressure raised the pavement several inches along Marengo Avenue and Mission Street.

Approximately 50 residences, more than half of them in one condominium complex, will be without water for at least two days, a city spokesman said.

Already suffering from traffic congestion caused by resufacing Fair Oaks Avenue and the closure of cross streets, South Pasadena now has only Monterey Road for an east-west thoroughfare, and only Fremont Avenue open for north-south traffic through town.

City Manager John Bernardi said the break occurred in an old main feeder line. City workers will have to flush the line, chlorinate and seal it--a process that will take at least two days before water can again serve the neighbornood, he said.

To repair the street damage, Bernardi said, "We'll have to dig up at least 100 feet of pavement on Mission and Marengo, go down several feet until we hit dry ground, then fill and repave. Now what we have is just pavement over wet mush and this could be dangerous for any traffic. This probably will take a couple of weeks. And it's going to put a big dent in the city budget."

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