MTA: Overnight shutdowns helped us clear water main break quickly
The MTA is crediting its recent weeknight maintenance subway shutdowns for a speedy cleanup of an ancient water main that broke early Thursday morning, snarling subway service between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Thousands of gallons of water poured onto the tracks of the No. 1/2/3 trains downtown at around 2:30 a.m. Thursday when a 12-inch water main installed "in the late 1800s" fractured under West Broadway between Warren and Murray Streets, officials said.
Scores of MTA and Department of Environmental Protection workers cleared the track, and service was resumed shortly after 8 a.m.
Six or seven inches of water had accumulated, reaching the top of subway tracks, and was removed by external pumps and underground drains that were recently cleaned as part of the MTA’s “Fastrack” maintenance program, which shut down service overnight for four weekdays in February.
“Those drains were all recently cleaned, so they were handling water amazingly,” MTA vice president of subways Carmen Bianco told amNewYork. “All the hard work they put into Fastrack several weeks ago, it paid off this morning.”
Bianco said straphangers and workers were never in any danger.
Mike Saucier, a spokesman for DEP, said they were still investigating what caused the break, but added that the city was on pace to hit a 10-year low in number of incidents this year. There are about 500 water main breaks annually.
The DEP tests older water mains and replaces those it deems unfit, Saucier said.
But the MTA and DEP said it was hard to know exactly where problem areas might occur.
“A water main can rupture anywhere in the city of New York,” Carmen said.