Water main built in 1886 breaks in historic Canfield district

- Due to a 30-inch water main break the streets of west Canfield at Second Avenue in Midtown are under water. 

Crews are still working into the dark trying to figure out what repairs need to be made to get this historic neighborhood back up and running.

The water main that broke was installed in 1886, so somthing like this was bound to happen at some point. 

“It's not every day you get a personal river in front of your house,” Resident Jose Romo-Puerto said.

The beautiful cobblestone street flooded in the Canfield Historic District in Midtown. 

“When it first happened it was like gushing out, pretty crazy I've never seen anything like this in my life,” he said.

Canfield Street at 2nd and 3rd flooded in just minutes, a 30 inch pipe installed in 1886, causing the damage. 

The sidewalks buckled but water kept at bay before it reached any of the historical homes.

Detroit Water and Sewer Director Gary Brown says it could be a case of old age as the pipe was put in more than 130 years ago! 

"It wasn't intended to last for probably more than 50 or 60 and fortunately the material being used back then was very good," Brown said. 

What went on Saturday afternoon, spotlights the aging infrastructure problem that went long ignored.

"Unfortunately for decades there has been no money to do this," Brown said.

Instead of having to make repairs when this happens which is expensive, the city is using nearly 500 million dollars set aside to replace these ancient pipes. 

It's part of the city's a 4 to 5-year capital improvement plan. 

"We currently, right now today have 23 projects around the city and we are focusing on neighborhoods in replacing the aging water and sewer systems," he said.

On Canfield they will assess the damages and make repairs but Brown says it could have been a lot worst. 

"We can assure the resident that we realize that this is a historical neighborhood and we are going to replace and repair of the damages of the caused," 

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories