Joplin road closure due to water line break - KOAM TV 7

UPDATE - Street Closure: 20th St. from Pearl Ave. to Byers Ave. in Joplin

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Effective today at 10:00 a.m., 20th St. will be closed from Pearl Ave. to Byers Ave. Crews will be repairing the street related to the waterline break that occurred Friday, December 13, 2013. City crews are working with Missouri American Water to minimize any inconvenience. 20th Street is expected to reopen this Friday, December 20, 2013 at 5:00 p.m., weather permitting.

Detour routes will be available. Drivers are urged to use extreme caution in these areas and will need to utilize alternate routes during this period.

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Earlier today a press release was sent to the media relative to a water line break on 20th Street located in the area of Pearl Ave.  This is an update to that press release as to the current situation. 

Missouri American Water Company has repaired the water line and restored water service to those who were impacted.  As of this afternoon, Missouri American Water Company and the City of Joplin's Public Works Department have been working together to open the street to traffic, however the street will be reduced to two lanes in the vicinity of the repair located between Pearl and Byers.  Drivers should exhibit care when approaching this area and traffic control devices are being placed to assist drivers as they travel through this area.  Drivers are encouraged to use an alternative route until the street is fully repaired.

In the coming weeks, the City and Missouri American Water Company will be working together to make the necessary final repairs to the street in this location.

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Updated December 13th at 3:46 PM:  A water main burst in Joplin, and closes four lanes of traffic. The burst occurred on 20th Street, causing closures from Byers to Wall. Thankfully residents in the area experienced nothing more than a little loss of water pressure from the burst. But since the closure happened in the middle of 20th Street, Missouri's American Water tells me it could be a few days for them to fix the pipe and then fix the street. 

Grant Old says he woke up around six o'clock this morning to the sounds of sirens. He looked outside and saw police, along with a ruptured street. 20th street runs next to his house, but things quickly stopped running on one of the city's busiest arteries.

"Trying to figure out, ok, if I have to get to work today, see what I need to do to avoid this situation," said Old.
According to Missouri American Water's External Affairs Director Christie Barnhart, the main burst at about 5 am and it says it isn't all that uncommon in what they call "the season" for pipe breaks. Usually between December and March.
"Temperatures tend to get really cold, also we see a lot of instances where there is a pretty drastic fluctuation in temperature, that can cause ground shift which can cause the pipes to break," Barnhart said.
In fact, Barnhart says that this main pipe was not only over one hundred years old, but its proximity to the Water Treatment Plant meant it had to deal with a higher amount of pressure.  And with over 400 hundred miles of pipes under city streets, they expect several breaks every year. 

"In Joplin, we usually get maybe 30 over a heavy main break season versus St. Louis where we have operations, they can have 30 in one day," Barnhart said.

Something Old says makes sense, with the recent warm spell. And while he is thankful the water main did not affect residential pipes to his neighborhood.
"I guess I have to find an alternate route, because 20th Street is pretty much the only way I go. Straight down 20th Street, so I've got to zig zag around I guess," Old said.  

Now it's important to remember that it isn't just city water pipes that can burst. The recent influx in weather can also put your pipes at risk. Missouri American Water suggests residents cover pipes in cold weather, and if it is really cold, suggests leaving your faucet dripping overnight to prevent pipes from freezing. 


Early this morning a water line broke underneath 20th Street around Pearl Ave. Due to damage to the road, heavy water flow, and icy conditions created by this, 20th was closed for a two block section from Byers to Wall.

Missouri American Water and the City of Joplin streets department responded and are working on this. It is not known how long the road will be closed, but we will send out more information when it becomes available.

Drivers are asked to plan ahead if they are driving in this area and to use caution as they drive because there are some slippery road surfaces around town.

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