PLAINS TOWNSHIP — A water main break in Luzerne County has a busy street still down to one lane, has left homes and businesses without water, and prompted concern about a bridge that was just repaired.
Water was spewing from the walls of the bridge for hours Wednesday.
Officials from PennDOT and Pennsylvania American water believe the water main broke near the arch bridge on South River Street in Plains Township.
Homes and businesses in this area are still without water and officials still don’t know why the break happened.
Pennsylvania American Water started receiving calls around 4 a.m. Wednesday.
“The whole water system in the rectory is down to just a trickle today, so it was obvious before I looked out the window there was something going on here,” Fr. Paul Wolensky of Ss. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church
What’s going on is still unclear. Officials with the water company say a 24 inch water main broke near the bridge but they don’t know why.
Crews say the bridge was repaired just a few years ago with an all-new deck and new stones, but they say with the water still seeping out of it, there’s a good chance it will need to be repaired again.
PennDOT officials say for now, the bridge is safe for the public to cross but traffic here will stay down to one lane as long as crews are there.
While work continued to stop the water McDonald’s closed and about 30 children at Building Blocks Learning Center had to be relocated to its Wilkes-Barre location.
“Probably I’d say half of our center was already here at that time, so they had to come, leave work, come and pick up their children, and take them to our Wilkes-Barre location,” said Heather Lavelle with Building Blocks Learning Center .
People who live nearby, including Fr. Wolensky, were also forced to make other arrangements.
“Thank God I have relatives in this area, so they’ll be getting a phone call from me. I’ll probably eat supper there and maybe use the shower there.”
Crews have stopped the water from gushing from the bridge but a spokesperson for Pennsylvania American Water says water won’t be available to these home and businesses until sometime overnight.
That will just be a temporary service until crews can put a new pipe in.
For now, the bridge will remain down to one lane.