(UPDATE: 12:45 p.m.) A leak in a replacement water main being installed on Wisconsin Avenue caused flooding in an underground garage and a morning traffic jam on Friday.
Authorities were called to the scene, on southbound Wisconsin Avenue just north of Bradley Boulevard, for the report of an underground water main break at around 8:30 a.m. But the incident stemmed from a pipe replacement project and not a break, WSSC spokeswoman Kira Calm Lewis said.
“It was actually the tail end of a water main replacement project. We actually replaced a line on that 6800 block of Wisconsin,” Lewis said. “This morning, the contractors were hooking the building connection up to the new water line and a leak occurred into the lowest level of the parking garage.”
The leak pooled up in the lowest level of the six-level garage under the Adagio condominiums, damaging about five cars parked there, Lewis said. Officials are still investigating how two to three feet of water got to the garage, as there was no apparent break that caused damage to surrounding concrete or sidewalk.
The sidewalk in front of the Adagio, close to the U.S. Post Office at 6900 Wisconsin Ave., was closed off quickly after the leak was discovered. According to one MCFRS official on the scene, somebody observed the brick sidewalk buckle against the building.
Lewis said the sidewalk was closed by MCFRS as a precaution. They performed a safety check and found there’s no reason to believe the leak is undermining the road or the sidewalk.
The leak caused a brief traffic build-up during the morning rush hour on Wisconsin Avenue, which calmed after officials opened the middle and left lanes. Montgomery County officials are warning the repairs could affect the afternoon rush hour as vehicles are taking up the right lane.
Lewis said there was no estimate on when WSSC would wrap up the repair work, but there’s a good chance they’ll be able to move some equipment out of the lane to open up more of it.
Water was restored to the condominiums and retail stores around the leak at about 11 a.m., Lewis said.