Portion of Dale Earnhardt Boulevard washed out after crews break water main

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 12, 2012

By Hugh Fisher
KANNAPOLIS — Now through Monday, the drive through Kannapolis may be a wash-out for residents who use Dale Earnhardt Boulevard.
A section of the road between Rogers Lake and Fairview roads, across from Whitley’s Funeral Home, has been temporarily closed.
According to workers at the scene, a crew drilling into the roadbed ruptured a 10-inch water main Wednesday.
Almost immediately, water boiled through dirt underneath the asphalt, causing part of the road to buckle.
There were no reports of injuries or accidents.
Mark Cleckler, one of the workers at the site, said his crew was installing a fiber optic line when the water main was hit.
He described rushing into the road to try to stop motorists from driving over the damaged pavement.
“It was like stepping on a waterbed,” Cleckler said, adding that the pressure raised the asphalt several feet.
Barricades across all four traffic lanes diverted evening traffic through neighborhoods to South Main Street, then around and back to Dale Earnhardt Boulevard.
According to a press release, N.C. Department of Transportation personnel estimate it will take until Monday to repair the street.
Late Wednesday, Kannapolis Public Works crews had excavated around the water line, and were using a high-powered vacuum mounted on a truck to remove water.
Water service was not expected to be interrupted to many areas, and was to be restored to most homes and businesses quickly.
Drivers are being detoured to South Main Street, using Rogers Lake Road and Fairview Road, while the blocks between are closed.
For more information, contact Kannapolis Public Works at 704-920-4200.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.