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MSD working three cave-in sites in downtown Louisville

Louisville Courier-Journal logo Louisville Courier-Journal 9/6/2019 Ben Tobin, Louisville Courier Journal
a close up of a metal fence: MSD is working on multiple cave-in sites, including one at South Hancock Street and East Madison Street as well as one on 4th Street between Main and Market streets. © Matt Stone/Courier Journal MSD is working on multiple cave-in sites, including one at South Hancock Street and East Madison Street as well as one on 4th Street between Main and Market streets.

The Metropolitan Sewer District is working on three cave-in sites in downtown Louisville, all due to issues with old sewer pipes that were installed under the roads in the early 1900s.

Crews are at South Hancock Street at East Madison Street, Fourth Street between Main and Market streets, and Seventh Street at Main Street, where road closures calmly diverted traffic after the Friday evening rush hour. 

The cave-in at South Hancock Street was caused by a break in a 27-inch brick sewer line that runs under the street. According to MSD, the pipe was installed in 1900. Crews will begin work at the site 11 p.m. Friday and continue work throughout the weekend.

A security guard is directing traffic to turn into the University of Louisville Hospital parking lot on the west side of Hancock Street. 

At Fourth Street between Main and Market streets, contractors working on underground electrical lines reported a void under the pavement. MSD inspected the 90-inch sewer line from 1928 that runs under the street and found no breakage. There is also an abandoned 36-inch brick sewer line, which was installed in 1900.

The cause of the void under the pavement is still under investigation. The site is plated for traffic and safety throughout the weekend.

See also: Police investigating death of 20-year-old woman in New Albany

a group of people on a city street: MSD is working on multiple cave-in sites, including one at South Hancock Street and East Madison Street as well as one on Fourth Street between Main and Market streets. © Matt Stone/Courier Journal MSD is working on multiple cave-in sites, including one at South Hancock Street and East Madison Street as well as one on Fourth Street between Main and Market streets.

Bus routes on Fourth Street are diverted but not causing problems. TARC riders should pay attention to the bus stops because some are turning onto Main Street to pick up passengers, rather than on the west side of Fourth Street. 

At Seventh Street, electrical contractors reported a void under the pavement on Aug. 30. MSD is continuing on repairs to catch basin pipes that connect to the 18-inch clay sewer pipe, which was installed in 1903. 

The closure, which takes the road down to one lane at the Main Street intersection, is not causing traffic issues but has put a sewer smell into the air, causing complaints. 

Customers will not see any interruption of service, according to MSD. Crews may install a temporary "pump-around" when necessary, which allows them to pump wastewater through a pipe along the surface of the roadway before putting the flow back into the sewer at another manhole.

Repairs should be completed on Seventh Street by early next week, MSD said.

Read this: Southern Indiana groups oppose Sherman Minton closure

Contact Ben Tobin at bjtobin@gannett.com and 502-582-4181 or follow on Twitter @TobinBen. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: subscribe.courier-journal.com.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: MSD working three cave-in sites in downtown Louisville

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