Water main breaks cause icy roads in downtown Birmingham

Crews worked overnight Thursday to repair a water main break on University Boulevard in downtown Birmingham. Frigid temperatures have gripped central Alabama for most of the week. (Stephen Quinn |

UPDATE (Jan. 4 6:50 a.m.) |

Water has been restored to buildings affected by Wednesday's water main break on University Boulevard.

Water systems should be ready for normal use Friday morning, but road closures will remain as work continues.


Birmingham Police and Birmingham Water Works crews were kept busy Thursday morning by several water main breaks as frigid temperatures continued to grip central Alabama.

The biggest break was at the intersection of 20th Street South and University Boulevard. Crews began working to repair the break around midnight. At 5 a.m. the crews were still working to remove a large section of the road to reach the busted pipe below. At 8:00 a.m. crews were still working to find the origin of the leak.

People staying at the nearby Double Tree and Reside Inn hotels woke up to the sound of jackhammers. Guests at the Double Tree were without water part of the morning as a result of the break. "We called the front desk and they told me something about a water main break and I thought they were just making up an excuse for not having water but when I looked outside and turned on the news there really was a problem. We knew they were right," said Brian Cheshire, who was staying at the Double Tree.

The UAB administrative building was also without water according to Birmingham Water Works. Service was not estimated to be restored until later in the afternoon said spokesman Rick Jackson.

Several other water main breaks were reported in the Birmingham metro. Relief is not expected to come soon with more days of freezing temperatures forecast for the region. Drivers are asked to avoid areas where crews are working.

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