22 January 2008

Ever seen a pipe burst?

Water main break closes North Side streets

Hmmm... infrastructure again.

A 36-inch water main burst on Chicago's North Side overnight, collapsing a major street, partially submerging parked cars and rerouting CTA service. For a while, a virtual river ran through a popular neighborhood.

The 80-year-old cast-iron main burst about 1:30 a.m. near Montrose Avenue and Wolcott Street, forcing police to close an area of several square blocks. The CTA briefly shut its Brown Line Montrose station and rerouted two buses.

I have no idea if 80 is old for a cast iron pipe, or if this was just one of those one in a million deffects that wasn't tested for in the 1920's.

"It wouldn't be surprising to see that that the weather played a role," LaPorte said. "It went from very cold over the weekend to warmer temperatures that can cause weakness in the pipe."

I wonder how much variation in temperature there is in the ground under the streets in Chicago.

Rachel Maddow is on Countdown right now, talking about how infrastructure investments can work as an economic stimulus package. That sounds like a great idea, employ people and fix our bridges at the same time. It worked for FDR, I would think that it would work for the next president. Build bridges, community centers, clean up land, plant trees, and on and on. Give the local governments some money earmarked for infrastructure and community projects.

I'm just thinking out loud on this one.

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