San Diego

Broken Main Spews Water Onto Roads Near I-5 Ramp

A contractor hit a 6-inch-diameter blowoff valve connected to a 30-inch-diameter water main at Genesee Avenue and the I-5 ramp Tuesday morning, causing a big, wet mess in the area

A broken main at a construction site in Torrey pines spewed large amounts of water onto the roadways Tuesday, creating a big, muddy mess in the busy area.

Water began gushing into the air at around 10:45 a.m. at Genesee Avenue, near the southbound Interstate 5 off-ramp. NBC 7's news helicopter captured the geyser as water came pouring down.

Officials temporarily shut down traffic at westbound Genesee Avenue at I-5 so crews could secure the area and start figuring out how to fix the problem.

Arian Collins, a supervising public information officer with the city of San Diego, said a contractor hit a 6-inch-diameter blowoff valve connected to a 30-inch-diameter water main in the area, causing the rupture.

At 12 p.m., Collins said the water main had been shut down. No one in the area was out of water service but Collins said some customers would likely experience low water pressure until crews could complete repairs.

A half-hour later, traffic reopened on westbound Genesee Avenue at I-5. 

By 1:30 p.m., Collins said the water main was put back in service but the valve may still need to be repaired, at a later time. He said the amount of water lost in the geyser had not yet been calculated.

Construction worker Brian Ruiz was on his shift, building a pedestrian bridge in the area, when he and his crew noticed a water main had broken.

He said a geyser began shooting water to the right side of Genesee Avenue, about 80 to 120 feet into the air. The water created a lot of mud, which was thickening by the minute. Soon, Ruiz said drivers and motorcyclists began having problems getting through the mud and water.

“I knew that it was going to be chaos,” said Ruiz. “This is the biggest intersection in this area. I knew there were going to be big problems – as there was.”

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