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Street closed as water main break in La Crescenta tears asphalt apart

Crews repairing water main break in La Crescenta
Water drains below a section of a ruptured water-main pipe, as Crescenta Valley Water District crew members make repairs in the 4800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in north Glendale. The break caused significant damage to the nearby asphalt and pavement.
(Tim Berger / Glendale News-Press)

A stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in north Glendale remained closed Monday after a water main break early Sunday morning blew a gaping hole in the asphalt and left 15 homes temporarily without water.

A leak on the bottom of a more than 70-year-old pipe began between 3 and 4 a.m. in the 4800 block of Pennsylvania, according to Christy Scott, spokeswoman for the Crescenta Valley Water District, which owns the pipe.

“It was in the middle of the night, so probably no one noticed it,” Scott said, adding that the water utility’s monitoring system didn’t catch it right away because of its initial small size.

But with high-pressure water hurdling through the 8-inch steel pipe for five hours, the damage was evident by the time people were waking up on Sunday morning, Scott said.

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When crews arrived, they found a 1-foot-deep hole and several large cracks in the asphalt. Another large hole opened up in a nearby homeowner’s lawn. Water was flowing through the street.

A clamp was placed on the pipe, which was first installed in 1946, as a temporary fix, Scott said. It will eventually be replaced with a new pipe.

At a little past 8:30 p.m. Sunday night, water was restored to all of the homes in the area, Scott said.

However, Pennsylvania was still closed to traffic between El Camino and Stevens streets on Monday afternoon and is expected to remain so until Monday night or Tuesday, Scott said.

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The utility is still seeking a contractor to patch the hole with a temporary material.

Once the water below evaporates and the area is dry again, crews will replace that material with permanent asphalt, Scott said.

In total, about 1,700 feet of asphalt needs to be replaced, she added.

Currently, the Crescenta Valley Water District does not have an estimate about the cost of repairs or how much water was lost.

“Our immediate goal is to restore the water, restore the environment and then we’ll figure out how much it’ll cost,” Scott said.

There was some confusion at first whether the pipe belonged to the Crescenta Valley Water District or Glendale Water & Power, and crews from the latter arrived at the scene first.

Half of the street is in Glendale and the other is in Los Angeles, and the two utilities’ lines crisscross in the area, Scott said.

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