Major intersection reopens almost a week after water main break buckled asphalt near uptown

Crews making repairs after water main break in west Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Freedom Drive near W. Morehead Street reopened Friday night almost a week after a water main broke beneath the street last Sunday.

The intersection began to collapse as the water rushed onto the roadway, causing flooding on Freedom Drive and approaching nearby parking lots and patios at local businesses, like Pinky’s Westside Grill.

By Monday morning, the asphalt was buckled from flooding. Outbound lanes of Freedom Drive remain closed, while the inbound lanes are open.

“When the road actually split open we were like, I don’t think this is just a regular water main break," said Jonathan Hughes, Pinky’s manager. “It was like a rushing river going across the road.”

They closed down the restaurant when they noticed the flooding.

“It was nuts, you couldn’t see that the road was completely coming apart because it was all underwater and there were cars driving through that just destroying themselves,” said Hughes.

Charlotte Water says just after 4:30 Sunday afternoon they responded to a 20″ water main that broke.

BREAKING: Water line broke at Freedom and Morehead. Freedom drive is collapsing. Ben Williamson WBTV reports.

Posted by WBTV News on Sunday, June 23, 2019

About an hour after Charlotte Water workers arrived on scene, they say they found the break.

But the street beneath was seriously damaged by the water.

“There was one, maybe two large cracks and almost looked like something an earthquake would cause," said Abbey Jenkins, a neighbor.

“We don’t know how long it’s going to last, but this street is pretty tore up,” said Rodriquez Finley, another neighbor.

Charlotte Water said their crews are working diligently still to clear up that mess and excavate down to the broken pipe.

“Outside of natural disaster this is the biggest infrastructure mess I’ve ever seen," said Lee Kennedy, a neighbor.

Pinky’s and Rhino Market along with other businesses in the area opened Monday for business after saying water pressure and color were back to normal.

“I was afraid of what we were going to find this morning but just a little bit of mud that we had to wash out of the way,” said Jordan Ryan, a manager at Pinky’s.

“The water is clear and so far so good,” said Gena Morton who works at Rhino Market.

CMPD and Charlotte water later confirmed that the intersection would remain closed and that Freedom Drive would not be open between Morehead and Thrift Road for ‘several hours.’

Charlotte Water tweeted Friday afternoon that paving would be completed by Friday night.

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