RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU) said repairs are now complete and water has been restored after a main water line broke in downtown Richmond this morning.

A water main break that occurred at the corner of North 7th Street and East Broad Street on Monday, Nov. 20 caused the city to close 7th Street and its sidewalks as crews began repairs around 10 a.m. on Monday.

Water was shut off at an office building located at 730 E. Broad St., which forced the building to close for the day. Marisa Taylor, who works in the building at 730 East Broad St., said she can understand how the closure can be an inconvenience for some, but it is out of everyone’s control. 

“Just rolling with it. I mean, never a dull moment downtown,” said Taylor. “We had to reroute behind the building because you couldn’t walk up the sidewalk. And then we were told that the water would be cut off. So, [I’m] going home to work.”

A water main break often starts with a small leak, which bubbles into the concrete and can quickly advance, lifting sections of the street up and causing flooding. 

Richmond has an old sewer system and pipes. Richmond’s Department of Public Works said breaks are more common when there are sudden changes in the weather, which have been occurring in Richmond recently. 

Just last week, a water main break caused a significant disruption at the intersection of Staples Mill Road and Waller Road in western Henrico County.

DPU said it strives to stay ahead of the breaks by replacing the city’s old cast-iron pipes with newer ones each year, but with sudden changes in weather combined with those brittle pipes, water main breaks can happen.

According to DPU, temporary road repairs allowed the streets to reopen around 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 20. 

Final paving will occur as early as Tuesday, Nov. 22, depending on weather conditions.