Two lanes closed, repairs should be complete Monday
A release from the city said crews were on site to investigate the leak and to make repairs. No definite timeline was available yet on when the lanes will reopen, however, “it is anticipated that investigation and repair will be completed tomorrow,” the news release said.
Watermain breaks are becoming increasingly common in Greater Sudbury, where maintenance of the underground water and sewer system has been neglected for years because of budget constraints. The city is hundreds of millions of dollars behind in repair, replacement and maintenance work of its water system.
During last year's budget process, Lorella Hayes, the city's chief financial officer, said Greater Sudbury spends $33 million a year, when they should be spending $53 million. The accumulated deficit is around $700 million, which means the city's ageing underground pipes will break more frequently and, as years pass, the breaks will be more serious.
Almost half of the department's $65 million budget is spent on repairs or capital projects.
An extra tax increase was added to the budget this year, when the cost of water services went up by 4.6 per cent, or an average of about $48 per household in Greater Sudbury. At the current pace, it will take more than a decade to close the spending gap.
Recent watermain breaks include one on Old Creighton Road in Lively on Feb. 13; one at the corner of Victoria and Regent streets last month, as well as one on Paris Street that reduced the road to one lane. There were two serious breaks on The Kingsway in December that snarled traffic as commuters were heading to work.
The most serious break recently was in late October, when the main drinking water line into Naughton and Lively had to be repaired, leaving hundreds without water for several days. And a break in downtown Sudbury in July created a massive sinkhole on Elgin Street.