Water has been restored in downtown Minneapolis after a water main break Tuesday morning. The break in a pipe under 2nd Avenue North left the Target Center without water for most of the day, and caused a sinkhole in a city street.
Mark Ebert, general foreman for the City of Minneapolis Public Works Water Department, said 40 water main breaks occur in the city each year, usually after something causes the ground to shift.
"Most of the pipe in Minneapolis is cast iron pipe, put in prior to 1920. About 80 percent of our infrastructure was put in prior to 1920. And so, with that shifting, cast iron will break," Ebert said.
City of Minneapolis spokesman Matt Laible said Target Center was most affected.
"The leak was isolated, and all buildings in the area except Target Center have regular water service," Laible said in an email earlier in the day Tuesday.
Ebert said what exactly caused the pipe to rupture is unknown. But conditions may have been just right.
"When you have a lot of moisture in the ground, we had a lot of rain this year lately, that'll cause the ground to move," Ebert said. "Or when it's real dry. So any severe weather changes can kind of make your ground move, and weak points in the pipe rupture."
Crews began working at the break site at 6:30 a.m. They had water service restored by the time the Minnesota Lynx tipped off against the Atlanta Dream at Target Center at 8p.
The street still has to be repaired.