PHOTOS: Walnut Street water main break disrupts traffic in Center City (UPDATED)

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Yet another water main break is snarling traffic, this time in the Rittenhouse Square area of Center City.

Water began to rush from fissures on the 1600 block of Walnut Street around 4:30 p.m. yesterday after a 12-inch main ruptured underneath the street, according to Philadelphia Water Department spokesman John Digiulio. The main was shut off sometime around 6 p.m.

Several customers were left without water – most of them on the south side of Walnut between 16th and 17th streets – but service was restored by 9:30 a.m. this morning.

Walnut Street is still closed between 16th and 17th streets, and will remain so until all utility companies whose lines run through that area have a chance to assess the situation and determine what else needs to be repaired, according to Digiulio. “We’ll have a better idea tomorrow how long the street will be closed for,” he said.

It is currently unknown what caused the rupture. The crack was much smaller than some of the city’s recent main breaks – a 36-inch main gave out at 3rd and Walnut streets in October, another 36-inch main broke in Kensington in August and a 48-inch main break in Graduate Hospital this July closed streets and disrupted services for months.



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