ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO (KPLR) –A water-main break made for a soggy and slow start to the Monday morning commute in O’Fallon, Missouri. Crews scrambled, hoping to get Main Street reopened by the evening rush hour.
“This is the primary north-south route through this area,” said Tom Dabelle, a city spokesperson.
Water punched through the concrete, choking off Main Street just north of Interstate-70. A witness called police just after one Monday morning. One streets department worker said he got the extra-early wake-up call around three.
“They were out here within a few minutes getting started,” Dabelle pointed out.
O’Fallon police shut down the road between Elm Street and Civic Park Drive for almost four hours. Once streets crews opened one lane in each direction, police turned Main Street over to the water department so repair crews could get to work.
“The first step is to break the hole – in the street – start digging in. Get the water shut off. Once that’s done, you can actually go in and start the repair work.”
Repairmen found a broken 8-inch water main underground. Above ground, the morning commute was achingly slow, but civil.
“Nobody likes to wake up to this on a Monday morning,” Dabelle laughed, nervously. “But it’s one of those things that happens. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen very often. So when it does, we can get it taken care of pretty quickly.”
If drivers refused to take alternate routes, Dabelle urged them to do this one thing.
“Please take your time. Drive safely. You will get through the area. Give our crews a chance to do their work,” he said. “Overall, we’ve been lucky.”
City officials planned to update drivers on the progress of repairs through Twitter: