29 days and counting for water main break at Wards Corner in Norfolk

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — There is a water main break that happened on August 23 at Granby and Little Creek at Wards Corner.  The city estimates a loss of 200,000 gallons. 

The pipe that broke was put in the ground in 1906. Teddy Roosevelt, known as the “Bull Moose,” was the president. Today it’s a “bull moose” mess.  

“Every day it’s like this,” says Bobby Powell.  “It’s been like this for weeks. The city hasn’t gotten this fixed. They’ve been blocking this traffic off from everywhere.” 

During the 1940s, believe it or not, they called Wards Corner “the Times Square of the South.” In 2020, some call it “the intersection that has gushing water” from a crack in the water main. 

“Terrible. Traffic is terrible under the best of circumstances, and then you add this to it, it’s crum,” says Carol Olsen who drives by the water main break often. “It makes me not want to come to Wards Corner.”   

“This was caused by an aging infrastructure. It happened on August 23. In order to minimize impact to our customers with water shut-offs, our contractors will be affecting the repair starting at 11 p.m. tonight,” says Norfolk spokesperson Lori Crouch.

“It took several days for the contractor to mobilize. The materials for the repair had to be special-ordered due to the age of the pipes.” 

So, it took 29 days ago and causing severe traffic backups down Little Creek Road.

“I think the city needs to get it together, and this just isn’t right.  You all at the city need to get it together. Tighten up,” says one driver.

Those 200,000 plus gallons over weeks actually caused road damage. We see pot holes, worn pavement, and lots of running water moving down the curb into a sewer. 

You can actually see gravel bubbling up with the water like lotto balls in an air chamber.   

“Looking at this… it’s like a third world country here…it’s not just here! It’s everywhere,” says another driver who did not want to be identified.

Crouch tells 10 On Your Side the city decided to minimize impact so there were no water shut-offs to homeowners and business.    

10 On Your Side came out today, and strangely enough, Crouch says work is supposed to begin at 11 p.m. Monday night. 

Again, this has been going on for 29 days.  

“It’s ridiculous.  You can’t turn around, you can’t turn that way, and I live that way,” Bobby Powell says, pointing the opposite direction. “I got to go this way, go down, and make a U-turn, and go a different way…My message to the city is, ‘Fix it!’” 

On Wednesday, Crouch said temporary roadway restoration was underway at Granby Street and Little Creek Road. All lanes were set to open by 8 p.m. Wednesday. A paving contractor will return soon to make permanent repairs.


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