Drivers traveling along Seventh St. in the City of Marquette will be following detours for the next several days.
The Department of Public Works was called to the scene at around 2:00 a.m. after a water main break caused material beneath the asphalt to wash out, leading to the portion of Seventh St. between Fisher St. and US-41 to partially sink. Crews are investigating which of two possible mains failed, but frost likely assisted the flowing water in damaging the road.
“Right now what’s happening is you’re starting to get some of the frost working its way out of the ground as we’re getting a little bit nicer weather on the streets that have the southern exposure,” said Scott Cambensy, Superintendent of Public Works for the City of Marquette, “So you’ve got still six, seven feet of frost in the ground in a lot of areas, and you get a main break like this and the water’s just going to work its way out the easiest path it can find.”
That easiest path often happens to be the edge of the road, especially if the road surface itself has thawed. Crews are carefully excavating the street to try and repair the damage.
“They’ll take the water down out of the hole, make the repair on the main, and they’ll get the water back in service,” said Cambensy. “This road will probably be shut down for several days now.”
Since this portion of the road lies on a hillside, crews must be conscientious while excavating to ensure that further material does not get washed away.
Another break has been reported on W. Washington Street between McClellan Avenue and the Shopko entrance. That portion of the road is closed until further notice.