The break of a 10-inch water main at Interstate 83 near Maryland Avenue likely won't be fixed for a few days because it's in a bad spot and repairs will require specific equipment, according to officials from the city Department of Public Works.
DPW spokesman Kurt Kocher said the break occurred at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and crews shut off water so it would not leak onto the highway and freeze. That also cut water flow to the University of Baltimore Law Center, which is near the intersection of West Mount Royal and Maryland avenues.
Officials at the center were forced to clear it of students, and classes and activities were canceled Saturday and early Sunday after the building was closed.
Later, Kocher said, the department was able to partially turn the water back on. By Sunday afternoon, UB officials determined fire suppression and rest room systems were operating normally, and reopened the center. It was anticipated the law center will open on time and operate on a normal schedule for Monday, according to an email from University Police Chief Samuel D. Tress.
The break is in a hard-to-reach spot in an underpass for Interstate 83, Kocher said.
He said the department will have to hire a contractor who has the equipment necessary to access the water main and fix it, in addition to rerouting traffic around that equipment and coordinating the time of the repair with the law school, which will take a few days. In the meantime, the law center might have some low water pressure. No other buildings were without water, and Kocher said the repairs should not interrupt the school.
"It's not expected to be a difficult repair once we can access it," he said of the break. "However, you can not always predict it until you get on the main. It's just unfortunate where it is."
Kocher did not yet have an estimate of how much it will cost to fix the main. The department plans to spend $300 million in five years to upgrade miles of aging water pipes.
Staff writer Kevin Rector contributed to this story.
twitter.com/cwellssunCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun