Girard Avenue water main repairs to take longer than first expected

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Girard Ave. water main repairs to take longer : Sarah Bloomquist reports on Action News at 5 p.m., October 22, 2018

The Water Department has replaced the broken water main on Girard Avenue, but now the gas company, SEPTA and the streets department, possibly the sewer department, all have work to do. For that reason, this project could be here a while longer than first expected.

Crews using heavy equipment are working away at Girard Avenue and Crease Street days after a 20-inch water main ruptured, and now the water department says it could be many more days, perhaps weeks before all the repairs are finished completely.

"I think it's a fair assessment to say that by the time everything is done out here, it'll be a couple weeks from now," said John DiGiulio of the Philadelphia Water Department.

The gas department has work to do. SEPTA must repair trolley rails. The street has buckled. The pavement is soft and unsafe.

Still, over the weekend, somebody removed barricades blocking Girard and turned around the electronic sign diverting traffic. We saw cars driving over the compromised pavement last night.

"It's not the best condition to drive on. We have barricades. We have safety equipment out here for a reason," said DiGiulio.

At Franklin's Barber Shop, both barbers and customers weren't surprised the project will go on longer than first projected.

"Not long with how long the city tends to take with projects like this," said Vincent Crapello of Franklin's Barbershop. "I just assumed that there is more that needs to be done especially when the pipe is as old as it was."

"I am sure it opened up Pandora's Box in what could be down there," said Kyle McCurley of Fishtown.

Across the street at Murph's Bar, the road closure has already had an impact on business.

"I saw my numbers," said Theresa Walton, Owner of Murph's Bar. "I know it affects my numbers, so you're definitely not getting the crowds that we normally have unless they live in the neighborhood."

Over the weekend, the area shut down was also expanded because neighbors didn't like that traffic was being diverted onto some of the area's smallest streets.

Girard Avenue is now closed between Columbia and Frankford Ave and could be for a while.

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