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Water main break leads to Hwy 100, Greenfield Av. closure in West Allis

CREATED Jun 8, 2012 - UPDATED: Jun 8, 2012

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  • Video by wtmj.com

  • Photo: John Drilling

  • Photo: John Drilling

WEST ALLIS - Some drivers who use State Highway 100 or Greenfield Avenue in West Allis had to find an alternate route Friday morning after a water main break.

West Allis Police had to close all the southbound lanes of Highway 100 and both lanes of Greenfield Avenue due to the break.

"Huge split in the concrete...almost like a little miniature geyser coming up," Jeff Lever, who works in the area, told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jodi Becker.

Dan Schwebke, the West Allis Water Department Superintendent, told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Michelle Richards that crews were turning valves as part of a construction project near that corner when they were turning the last valve Friday morning at about 6:00 a.m.  

"It basically blew on us.  We were turning it back...and the last valve we turned, it just blew."

Wisconsin Department of Transportation cameras showed that water was no longer flowing at that intersection by 7:00 a.m.

Schwebke said that crews were planning on excavating the area to try and fix the road damage on Friday.

"It should take us most of the day to fix and repair."

He also explained that traffic would be able to move through during the repair time, but that some lanes would be closed.

A police sergeant said a sinkhole-like situation was forming, and there were preliminary reports that the road was starting to buckle in a number of areas.

"That kind of force of water buckled up a little bit, right where the valve blew, about two feet up in the air," said Schwebke.

The water main break happened at about 6:00 a.m. Friday.

Authorities initially estimated that the lanes would remain closed until 8:00 a.m., but the police sergeant said it would take a lot longer to clean up.

Drivers going southbound on Highway 100 were advised to take a detour westbound Theo Trecker Way to 116th Street, go south on 116th to Lincoln Avenue, then eastbound on Lincoln to Highwya 100.