Workers break pipes - first gas, then water - for second time in five days, officials say

Business By Linda Trischitta, Editor Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Miami Lakes officials are blaming contractors for Comcast for two disruptions to traffic and businesses within five days along Northwest 67th Avenue near Main Street.

The afternoon of Feb. 22, a gas line was cut in the street near Miller’s Ale House, prompting Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to respond and several restaurants and businesses to close and traffic was detoured to New Barn Road.

On Monday afternoon as rush hour was building along the avenue that is a county byway, workers struck a 12-inch water main causing a deep sinkhole and flooding in the blocks between Main Street and New Barn Road, Councilman Ray Garcia told WTVJ-Ch. 6.  An SUV fell into the hole and the driver did not appeared to be injured.

Restaurants without good water pressure had to close early, according to the WTVJ-Ch. 6 report. 

Crews from the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Dept. responded to the flooded avenue and worked through the night.

“They had to find and isolate the pipe to stop the actual spill from a pressurized pipe,” Jennifer Messemer, communications manager at Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Dept. said Tuesday. “It was a water pipe. They rerouted the water and turned off the valves so they could excavate and access the pipe.”

The department received inquiries from customers concerned about cloudy or brown water, Messemer said.

“There was no residential precaution to boil water,” Messemer said. “In an abundance of caution, not there was anything to be concerned about, we issued the water advisory only for the Truist Bank. They can use the water to wash hands but for drinking, for a minimum of two days they will want to boil it. Our lab staff was taking samples just for the bank. After two days of samples are tested and once we get the all clear, we’ll lift the boil water order.”

Messemer said when a pressurized water pipe bursts, changes in flow can kick up sediment or calcium carbonate in them that is used during the treatment process.

“There may have been a temporary discoloration,” Messemer said. “We tell folks to let the water run 3 to 5 minutes and it will run clear. It’s a temporary cosmetic issue.”

Pipe repairs were completed after 1 a.m. and workers began repairing the road, Messemer said.

Northwest 67th Avenue reopened to traffic at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Miami Lakes Town Manager Edward Pidermann said.

Efforts to reach a spokesperson for Comcast were not immediately successful; if the company replies, this story will be updated.