Water main break in Elgin

January 21, 2009 9:32:13 PM PST
A major water main broke at Route 31 and Kimball Street in Elgin on Wednesday evening. On Wednesday night, crews were still out on Kimball Avenue working to repair that water main. When the main broke it completely shut down service on the Big Timber line. Commuters had to use shuttle buses. However, on Wednesday night they were slowly getting that service restored. Trains moved slowly on Wednesday night through the area where the water main burst.

Late on Wednesday evening they opened up one set of the tracks but when the water main first broke it was at about the worst possible time, about 5:00 p.m., the start of the rush hour in Elgin. It shut down the Metra service.

Crews have been working all night to repair the break which happened just underneath the tracks. Fortunately, they were able to isolate the location early on so most residents never even noticed a change in water pressure.

"It was minimal. But by and large it was just a minimal impact," said Sue Olafson, spokesperson, city of Elgin.

The library closed due to the break. In the meantime, Metra says they expect to be back to full service on Thursday morning. City officials say they believe the water main break was caused by the big fluctuations in temperature from well below freezing to adjust above freezing for a short time on Wednesday.