TAMPA -- Last week’s cold-weather snap is wreaking havoc on the city of Tampa’s water system.
Repair crews are trying to fix more than 30 pipe bursts, and there could be more on the way.
The disruptions are not only slowing traffic, they’re hurting some businesses.
Driving around Tampa this week, it might be hard not to run into roadblocks created by dozens of water main leaks.
“I've noticed quite a few detours around town,” said Paul Linneham, driving around one such detour at the corner of MacDill and Azeele Street in South Tampa.
The city saw the same water woes a couple of years ago when it got cold. Pipes, new and old - weakened by expanding and then contracting again as the weather warms up.
Work crews are all over the map, fixing, filling and repaving.
The barrage of breaks isn't just slowing down traffic.
It's hurting nearby businesses.
Gio Pena’s restaurant, Pipos, on MacDill for example, lost water for about five hours during the lunchtime rush Sunday. The main intersection next door was still closed Monday, as traffic - and potential profits – were detoured around him.
“There is always that customer that they won't, they are not going to like going around the block to get in here,” said Pena.
Frustrated drivers say in some spots the city could also do a better job with its detours.
A parade of confused commuters could be seen winding its way through a gas station's parking lot near the same intersection all day long.
“I don't know who is conducting this construction and if it's the city of Tampa or someone private, but whoever it is certainly has a responsibility to mark the road at this closure in a better fashion,” said passenger Jacob Rice.
Don't let the warming weather trend fool you. This latest break near the USF campus, happened just this morning. The mild temperatures giving the pipe
Unfortunately, the breaks have been continuing as the pipes contract and crack. And with more warm weather on the way this week, it makes it that much more likely, say city officials, that there are more pipe breaks to come
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