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Expect traffic to be re-routed near Sault Area Hospital

Monday, March 10, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

Motorists travelling on Great Northern Road, near the Sault Area Hospital (SAH) entrance, are advised to be prepared for some traffic re-routing around 10 p.m. tonight or early Tuesday morning.

The reason?

Another water main break which needs to be repaired by the Sault Ste. Marie PUC.

Randy Johnson of PUC Marketing and Customer Communications told Monday that the company is attempting to organize a crew to perform the work beginning Monday evening, or Tuesday morning at the latest.

Johnson said the repair work should not affect SAH water supply, and arrangements have been made to ensure water supply will not be affected at the nearby F.J. Davey Home or nearby businesses.

Johnson said he could not predict exactly how long the water main repair work would take, but estimated “it could be eight to 10 hours, maybe longer.”

This comes after a water main break in the Bruce and Pim Street area March 1, which led to not only major repair work, but also a necessary acceleration in water output at the troublesome Lorna Wells in order to replenish lost water supply in the reservoirs as a result of that break.

That, in turn, led to an unpleasant brown water incident which covered much of Sault Ste. Marie’s east end throughout the weekend of March 1. 

Johnson said the Lorna Wells are still active but now running at a reduced, less worrisome level in the wake of that incident.    

Johnson also provided an update regarding PUC customers whose water service has stopped due to frozen pipes in this brutally cold winter, and who have had to hook up to a temporary water supply through hoses attached to their neighbours homes.

“It’s still a bit of a challenge because even though the temperatures are improving, the frost is still driving into the ground.”

“We’ve got our crews working six days a week as late as 10 p.m. trying to thaw services.”

Johnson said at last count (as of Friday) about 136 residents in the community had frozen pipes reported up to that point, of which “almost 30” were still hooked up through hoses attached to their neighbours homes.

That’s up from 25 homes last week, Johnson said.

“We sometimes have to go back, usually because people forget to keep their water running.”

Johnson said the PUC has contacted and advised homeowners who have experienced frozen pipes in the past to keep their water running at the thickness of a pencil, 24 hours a day, preferably from a basement laundry tub, in order to prevent their pipes freezing again.

Johnson said arrangements can be made with the PUC so that such customers would be billed on average.

“Whatever amount of water they used this time last year, that’s the average amount we would bill them on.”

Affected customers must keep the water running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Johnson advised.

“It would only take maybe an hour, under the wrong conditions, to freeze again, and you would be looking at a fairly large bill for someone to come back in and thaw things out.”

“It could take four to six hours to thaw someone’s service,” Johnson cautioned. 


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Sam C 3/10/2014 8:12:18 PM Report

'Tis the season. As much as we look forward to Spring, the thaw-freeze-thaw cycles wreak havoc on roads and water mains.
saultbie25 3/10/2014 8:34:39 PM Report

Okay so its just at lukenda drive and great northern road? Just for clarification. 3rd line and great northern is open
bounder 3/10/2014 9:16:29 PM Report

While the are working, take out the duplicate light that are there
stop traffic on the third line and stop them all again at Lukenda drive to let on or two vehicles out , buses , cars trucks , heavy equipment , motorhomes, transports and various other equipment,
Everyone exits third line and only emergency vehicles exit Lukenda drive.Talk about pollution for nothing.
Sam C 3/10/2014 11:27:39 PM Report

Bounder... Not sure when you are in the area, but i

I see plenty of vehicles enter/leave at the Great Northern Rd intersection.
Sam The Dog 3/11/2014 7:10:02 AM Report

Something needs to be said about the PUC crew working long hours thru the night in all weather to keep us residents with water. Hats Off Gentlemen.
Norm 3/11/2014 8:16:27 AM Report

Some workers welcome the overtime, maybe most.
blackhawkman 3/11/2014 8:58:55 AM Report

about time they earned their money instead of driving around town
bounder 3/11/2014 9:41:56 AM Report

the traffic is sporadic and to stop 50 to 60 vehicles to let one or two out ,heavy traffic as I described isn't right , especially when the city is boasting green . Let them go to the third line where most of this traffic was already stopped there.
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