water main busted

A water main break in Crescent Heights early Monday morning resulted in water, carried south through the storm water drains, gushing down from the Centre Street bridge onto Memorial Drive. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

A water main break early Monday morning created a quickly-freezing cascade of water from the Centre Street bridge onto Memorial Drive, prompting the city to activate the Emergency Operations Centre.

The main broke at Eighth Avenue and First Street N.E. in Crescent Heights at about 4 a.m. MT.

The water flowing off the bottom of the upper deck of the Centre Street bridge turned into a 20-centimetre thick layer of ice on Memorial Drive. 

The water services department successfully shut down the source of the water after a few hours after the water main broke.

Memorial Drive fully reopened

Memorial Drive in both directions and the lower deck of the Centre Street bridge have now been fully reopened after being closed to traffic for several hours. 

water main

Crews work to scrape the ice off Memorial Drive after a major water main break flooded the route early Monday morning. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

Officials initially believed the surging water got to the Centre Street bridge after travelling through the storm water drains towards the Bow River. 

But later Monday morning, city officials admitted they did not know how the gushing water got from Crescent Heights to the bridge.

"But our utilities in the area are checking to see how the water made its way from the break to the bridge," said roads department official Dan Jones. 

Duty Insp. Dean Lagrange said a dangerous amount of ice was piling up in the area during the height of the emergency.

“With temperatures hovering around - 28 C, the water is freezing almost instantly. And there’s a large portion of the road that is under water and ice,” he said.

The water main break caused flooding in at least one home in the area and left 21 homes and one business without water, officials said. Emergency water is being supplied to the affected homes, the city said. 

Crews might need several days to fully repair the break, officials said.

No structural damage to the Centre Street bridge was found, but there was concern that telecommunication cables in the bridge could be damaged.