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Five lanes of Broadway at Preston closed due to cave-in

Published: Jul. 22, 2018 at 9:03 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2018 at 12:22 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A portion of East Broadway at South Preston Street is closed due to a cave-in, the Metropolitan Sewer District said on Sunday afternoon.

Five lanes of Broadway at Preston were closed for emergency sewer line repairs around 4:55 p.m. The five center lanes of Broadway have been blocked to traffic, leaving one westbound and one eastbound lane open in the area.

Work was underway to repair the broken sewer pipe, which runs under the middle lanes of Broadway at South Preston Street, the MSD said.

The void left by the cave-in was approximately 10-feet by 15-feet by 8-feet deep.

"This is also a public health and safety risk. If you can imagine if a bus or if a fire truck or something like that, it's a pretty significant void that could impact a large vehicle," Executive Director of MSD Tony Parrott said.

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The cave-in happened along a 152-year-old sewer line. The bricks that form the pipe in question began to unravel at a joint in 1989 when another repair was made.

The small breaks left in the joint combined with heavy rain caused a large open space under the pavement.

There are two large water pipes in the area that may complicate repair work. Those lines are being protected during repairs to the sewer line, a statement from MSD said.

Emergency repairs to the aging infrastructure downtown have become common. In June, another pavement collapse happened on East Liberty Street.

"It's more costly," Executive Director Tony Parrot said. "Assets need to be replaced comprehensively and the longer we kick the can down the road the more costly it's going to be."

Until the money to fund a 4 billion dollar proposed repair plan is secured, Parrott said this job is just another band-aid on a broken system.

"It's happening not only just in this area, but all over downtown Louisville and all over our service area," Parrott said.

There is no estimated completion date at this time.

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