Boulevard water-main break at Welsh Road throws motorists a curve

A ma­jor wa­ter main break forced the clos­ure of all six in­ner lanes of Roosevelt Boulevard at Welsh Road on Sunday. Traffic re­stric­tions there could re­main in place for two weeks, Phil­adelphia Wa­ter De­part­ment of­fi­cials say.

The break was re­por­ted at about 5:30 a.m. on Sat­urday and in­volved a 12-inch wa­ter ser­vice main be­neath the Boulevard just south of Welsh, said PWD spokes­wo­man Laura Cope­land.

No flood­ing oc­curred, Cope­land said, but the in­ter­sec­tion was closed so that util­ity crews could in­spect and re­pair the dam­age.

Phil­adelphia po­lice no­ti­fied the pub­lic of the road clos­ure shortly after noon on Sunday. 

A text mes­sage is­sued via the ReadyNo­ti­fyPA sys­tem stated that cross traffic on Welsh Road at the Boulevard would be blocked, as would the north­bound and south­bound in­ner lanes of the Boulevard, “at least” un­til Sept. 12.

Cope­land said on Tues­day that PWD work has been com­pleted and nor­mal ser­vice re­stored to wa­ter cus­tom­ers in the area. However, oth­er util­it­ies, in­clud­ing Ve­r­i­zon and pos­sibly PECO En­ergy, had yet to fully as­sess and/or re­pair dam­age to their sys­tems. The Phil­adelphia Gas Works re­por­ted no dam­age, Cope­land said.

As of Tues­day, it was un­known how the Pennsylvania De­part­ment of Trans­port­a­tion planned to man­age the on­go­ing Holme Av­en­ue Bridge de­tour, which uses the Boulevard and Welsh in­ter­sec­tion.

PennDOT closed the bridge un­ex­pec­tedly in June due to cracks and oth­er de­teri­or­a­tion ob­served by in­spect­ors. 

Since then, Holme Av­en­ue traffic has been re-routed via Roosevelt Boulevard, Welsh Road and Wil­lits Road. ••

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