PlanPhilly

Repair work and fiscal recovery continues one month after Bakers Centre water-main break

A month after a 48-inch water main ruptured at the new Bakers Centre shopping plaza in East Falls, work continues deep inside the gaping crater in the parking lot.

Two neighboring businesses that suffered extensive damage are facing ongoing problems as a result of the break, as well.

Results pending

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) still awaits a report from an independent lab that is investigating why the large, cast-iron transmission pipe burst on the early morning of Jan. 11, releasing 13 million gallons of water and opening an 80-foot by 60-foot hole in the parking lot near Fox St. and Roberts Ave.

Freezing temperatures are often to blame for breaks in smaller mains, but the cause of the rupture in the deeper, thicker transmission main would more likely be related to the fact that it was installed in 1895 and had a 120-year life expectancy.

A notice distributed by PWD to business owners in Bakers Centre last week informed them that excavation on the broken main was complete, and parts will arrive within weeks to complete installation of the new section of water main.

"A timeframe for completion is still not available," the PWD said in the letter.

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About the author

Alan Jaffe, Historic preservation reporter

ajaffe@planphilly.com

B.A., Temple University

Alan Jaffe writes about historic preservation issues for PlanPhilly and focuses on often overlooked built landscapes in his column, “Look Up!” He
was a writer and editor in the newspaper industry for nearly 30 years, including eight at the Philadelphia Inquirer and nine at the South Jersey Courier-Post. He is currently the director of communications for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He is also an antiques writer and collector and the author of “J. Chein & Co.: A Collector’s Guide to an American Toymaker.”


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