Metro-East News

Water main break closes lanes on Illinois 159 in Swansea

Water gushing from a broken section of the water main beneath the 1100 block of Illionis 159 in Swansea was capped Wednesday night but workers remained on scene as of 8:30 p.m., pumping water out of the 30-foot-long hole in the road crews needed to dig to fix the problem.

Only the southbound lanes of the road are in use to motorists in both directions.

Water started gurgling up through the northbound lanes of the road shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, forcing police to close those lanes and send northbound traffic into one of the southbound lanes. Water also was coming up through an asphalt area between the sidewalk on the east side of the road and Century Brass Works, Inc.

Illinois American Water crews arrived with backhoes equipped with large jackhammers around 3:30 p.m. to break open the roadway so workers could dig down to the broken main and cap the leak.

Illinois 159 is no stranger to water main breaks. On July 21, a large break in the main beneath the northbound lanes of the road occurred right outside the YMCA in downtown Belleville, partially closing the road and forcing the early closure of the YMCA because the building lost water pressure.

In 2014, a section of the main broke in front of the Swansea fire station, just a few hundred feet north of where Wednesday’s break occurred.