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Madison Street reopens after water pipe repaired

Madison Street reopened to traffic about 3 p.m. Friday, four days after a 30-inch pipe ruptured, causing parts of the roadway to buckle and sending water gushing down Guilford Avenue as well as the Fallsway. Businesses and institutions in a 12- to 14-block area either lost water altogether or saw pressure drop, including Mercy Medical Center, Our Daily Bread and Center Stage.

The street was shut down between Calvert Street and Guilford Avenue while crews repaired the pipe and the ensuing damage.

"We have replaced the main, repaved the street and checked other utilities," said Kurt Kocher, spokesman for the city Department of Public Works.

The pipe, which broke shortly before 8 a.m. on the Veterans Day holiday Monday, was the latest in a string of water main breaks that have hit the city and Baltimore County. Work is still under way to repair a rupture that occurred Nov. 7 in a 60-inch pipe on North Charles Street at 20th Street.

"The damage was not as extensive on Madison Street," Kocher said.

Even the businesses in the Mount Vernon Shopping Center near the break site were able to reopen, while repairs went on and damages to the center's parking lot have been addressed, he said.

Still, the problems add impetus to the city's promise to accelerate repairs to the aging water system, targeting nearly 20 miles of pipes for replacement in the coming year.

Mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com

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