Commuters on northbound Coast Highway into Newport Beach found themselves backed up to Laguna Beach on Thursday morning because repairs for a broken water main in Corona del Mar left only a single lane, authorities said.
“It was really horrendous,” said Officer Howard Eisenberg, community relations officer for the Newport Beach Police Department. “We were advising people to take alternate routes because traffic had backed itself up all the way to Laguna Beach.”
The incident began Wednesday afternoon, when an underground water main failed, flooding East Coast Highway at Seaward Road and causing pavement to buckle. The busy coastal route was shut down completely for about 2 1/2 hours Wednesday, until the water could be shut off and steel sheets placed over the damaged asphalt.
Southbound lanes were opened to traffic just before the evening rush hour Wednesday. But only one northbound lane was reopened so that workers could repair the pipe and roadway.
Sgt. Doug Thomas said all northbound lanes were opened by late Thursday evening. “As far as we know, they all will remain open.”