Southbound Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda expected to reopen by morning

Updated 8p.m.

A break in an 89-year-old water main closed the southbound lanes of Wisconsin Avenue, north of Battery Lane, near downtown Bethesda, just before the Tuesday evening commute, but officials say the roadway should be open before Wednesday morning’s commute.

“Rush hour is looking really good tomorrow,” said Jerry Irvine, spokesman for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. “I don’t think we’ll have any closures at all.”

The break, just south of the National Institutes of Health, turned out to be less severe than crews initially believed, Irvine said. The break did not cause any significant icing, he said, but highway crews will treat the road with salt before reopening the road.

Traffic was diverted Tuesday night onto Woodmont Avenue, where vehicles could take a short detour before getting back onto southbound Wisconsin. Northbound lanes remained open.

WSSC officials said Tuesday evening that crews had made “good progress” on repairs to the broken eight-inch pipe and that it was “looking good” for prospects that the Wisconsin Avenue commute would be less affected than anticipated Wednesday morning.

No homes or businesses have lost water, WSSC said.

The WSSC, which provides water to Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, had 69 broken pipes Tuesday, an unusually high number due to the cold snap, officials said.



Katherine Shaver is a transportation and development reporter. She joined The Washington Post in 1997 and has covered crime, courts, education and local government but most prefers writing about how people get — or don’t get — around the Washington region.



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Katherine Shaver · January 28, 2014