Fifth Avenue Could Reopen Wednesday After Water Main Break

By Danielle Tcholakian on January 22, 2014 8:53am 

Slideshow
 Construction works kept at their water main repair work despite the relentless snowfall.
Water Main Repairs in the Snow
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — Fifth Avenue could reopen as soon as Wednesday following last week's massive water main break after workers powered through the snowstorm to repair it, city officials said.

The fix is "basically completed at this point," a Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon.

The agency was working on reopening a lane of Fifth Avenue, which had been closed between 12th and 14th streets since the nearly 140-year-old main ruptured at 13th Street on Jan. 15.

It was waiting on Con Edison to finish last-minute work, the DEP spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Con Edison spokesman Bob McGee said the utility company completed repairs on a gas main beneath Fifth Avenue at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Con Ed planned to return on Wednesday to double check everything after the snowstorm.

Even if the DEP can open up part of Fifth Avenue to traffic on Wednesday, the agency said work would continue for the next few days.

The flood damaged the New School's new University Center when water flowed into the bottom two floors of the massive new building at Fifth Avenue and 14th Street.

A site supervisor on duty was able to capture cellphone video of the late-night flooding last Wednesday cascading down the steps leading from the lobby into the two lower levels.

"It was actually quite beautiful going down the stairs,"  campus Planning Director Michael Joy said. "It looked like a memorial."

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