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Water line break floods US 60 in Tempe, forces closure in both directions

Flooding us60
60 flooding mcclintock
US 60 flooding water line break
Posted at 5:44 AM, May 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-08 23:08:18-04

TEMPE, AZ — A portion of US 60 is shut down due to flooding from a water line break in Tempe.

The water started flowing early Saturday morning near McClintock Drive, sending water across all lanes of traffic.

ABC15 crews saw at least one vehicle stuck in the water before dawn.

The City of Tempe says the break involves a 24-inch water transmission line in the middle of the US 60, and repair work could take up to several days to be completed.

A full closure of US-60 between the I-10 and Loop 101 will start late Saturday night.

Water has since been shut off to the area and pumphouses are working to remove the water from the freeway, officials said early Saturday morning. However, deep water was still pooled on the freeway hours later, receding slowly.

Tempe city officials say contractors are working with ADOT to fully asses the damage and begin making repairs, which entails placing a camera in the line to detect the exact location of the break.

The City of Tempe says residential and commercial water has not been impacted by this incident.

ADOT says there is no estimated time to reopen the freeway.

Due to the unexpected closure, ADOT has postponed a planned closure nearby for scheduled roadwork.

RELATED: Weekend road work will close I-10 in the West and East Valley (May 6-8)

Drivers told ABC15 traffic was a mess all day.

They described experiencing extended commutes, seeing backed up traffic and having to take detours.

“Yeah, it was pretty chaotic,” said Tyler Gurganus, a nearby resident.

Gurganus couldn’t believe the US-60 was flooded, causing part of the freeway to be shut-down.

“I’ve never seen that much water in Arizona,” he added.

The Arizona Department of Transportation told ABC15 the broken water line, belonging to the City of Tempe, caused damage underneath the freeway.

ADOT said the water pressure was enough to lift some pavement, and that the City of Tempe will be leading the effort in assessing the damage and making repairs.

“They had the whole highway blocked off,” said Gurganus

Micki and Manuel Remos live less than one mile away from where the flooding happened. They say the traffic extended their commute home.

“Oh, it was horrible. When I was coming south on the 101 earlier, about noon, it was miserable. You could see the line of traffic,” she told ABC15.

The Remos family says they felt the impact in their water service.

“This morning the water pressure was low,” said Manuel.

Now the Remos family, like many others, are left wondering when the repair work will be done.

“We just talked about it, and I said, ‘oh, it’ll be done by tonight, and it won’t affect us tomorrow…but it very well may,” said Micki.

Tempe officials say they will give an update on the water line break Sunday afternoon.

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