Water main break on Route 9 causes traffic headache this morning

Those of you headed east through Southborough this morning were faced with a slow go. Work to repair a broken water main had Route 9 eastbound down to one lane in Fayville, and that caused a miles-long backup along Route 9, as well as delays on side roads as commuters tried to find ways around the traffic.

In what was a case of “bad timing,” DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan said a water main running under Route 9 broke on Sunday afternoon at around 4:00 pm. Due to a thick layer of concrete and asphalt on the roadway, Galligan said it took nearly 12 hours to determine where the break had occurred.

Water from the break flowed under the highway and out a manhole in front of the Chinese Gospel Church, but the actual break was located some distance away in the middle of the intersection with Oak Hill Road and Central Street. It’s a location Galligan said “couldn’t have been much worse” from a traffic perspective.

My Southborough readers reported on Facebook and Twitter that traffic was backed up on Route 9 eastbound as far as Route 495. Others said tributaries like Woodland Road were at a standstill. The traffic also impacted school buses, some of which had to resort to alternate routes.

Repairs wrapped up shortly after 10:00 am on Monday. Galligan said metal plates were placed temporarily on the roadway. The DPW will have to go back and pave the area, but Galligan said they can schedule the paving work so that it has minimal impact on traffic.

Galligan said the water main broke in an area that has been problematic in the past. “That section (along Route 9) is all old pipe, mostly from 1931,” she said. The DPW is working on contracts to replace the old water main.

While the break had a significant impact on the morning commute, it had relatively little impact on water service in the area. Galligan said a handful of homes along Route 9 were without water, but none of the area businesses like Walgreens or the Mobil Station were impacted.


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