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Why is This Fire Hydrant Installed in the Street?

By Benjamin Woodard | September 18, 2014 5:27am
 A fire hydrant was installed in the street and the city says it's supposed to be there.
A fire hydrant was installed in the street and the city says it's supposed to be there.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — When construction crews installed a new fire hydrant on Lakewood Avenue, something just didn't seem right.

That's because it was installed in the street, a few feet away from the curb, in a traffic lane.

Residents had some fun with the idea of what appeared to be a wayward hydrant.

"It’s just an oddball thing," said resident Jim Ginderske, who snapped a photo of the yellow hydrant and posted it to his Facebook page, taking a tongue-in-cheek jab at the "dummy" worker who installed it in the wrong place. "It looks so odd."

But Gary Litherland, a spokesman for the Department of Water Management, said not to worry: "It is something that's typically done" during water main projects.

The hydrant was likely placed at the end of a main so it could either be flushed or temporarily capped for a day or two, he said.

"Fire hydrants are just valves," he said. "It’s a very large valve we attach to a water main."

Litherland conceded, however, that the hydrant should be protected with barricades after it was installed. (Later in the afternoon Wednesday construction signs were placed around the hydrant.)

Cars driving northbound on Lakewood Wednesday were forced to steer around the hydrant to make a left turn.

"It would be really interesting if someone hit it," Ginderske said, "because that’s attached to a water main."

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