A South of Market water main pipe that reportedly dates back to the 1800s bid this cruel world farewell this morning, flooding area streets and snarling traffic for the Friday commute.
A 12-inch water main pipe that ran beneath Howard Street broke at around 2:40 this morning at Fourth and Howard Streets, a spokesperson with San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission says. Crews responded to the break, which the Chron describes as "a gusher that broke through the asphalt and flooded the intersection with several inches of water and mud," at 3:15 a.m.
Workers "isolated the broken main and are making repairs," KRON 4 reports, but not before water flooded parts of Moscone Center and the under-construction tunnels of the Central Subway, according to NBC Bay Area.
The pipe, which officials say dates back to 1895, likely broke due to old age.
“Right now, [the break] does not appear to be construction-related,” SFPUC spokesperson Charles Sheehan told CBS 5.
“This is an older section of the main, and the likely factor in these cases for older is usually age.”
As you can imagine, traffic in the area is a shambles, with numerous street closures and delays as the crews continue their work throughout the day. As of publication time, Howard Street will remain closed between Third and Fourth streets, with Fourth Street shut down between Howard and Folsom. One lane of traffic remains open on Fourth from Mission to Howard to allow right turns onto Howard, but with repairs expected to take several hours, you'd be wiser to avoid the area all together.