Water main break creates large hole on Cottage Hill Road

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A water main break has created a large hole on Cottage Hill Road in between University Boulevard and Knollwood Drive.

Crews have been working on the break all afternoon. MAWSS says the pipe is more than 50 years old.

A large hole was spotted around 11:00 Tuesday morning by a WAVE bus driver. Within 5 minutes, the right-hand lane of Cottage Hill westbound was closed to drivers.

The immediate issue, a water main break underground. But MAWSS says it is indicative of a bigger problem they’re working to improve.

“40% of our pipes underground are over 40 years old. So it is time. They’ve outlived their usefulness, and it is time to replace them so we won’t see as many as these disturbances, problems,” said Monica Allen, MAWSS Public Relations manager.

The pipe under Cottage Hill is made out of cast iron, and MAWSS says they don’t use those types of pipes anymore. Another water main break happened in the same area seven years ago around Thanksgiving.

On Monday, MAWSS announced a proposed budget that would increase a rate hike for customers. They say because Mobile is an old city, the change is needed to cover the costs of projects that need to be completed to help with the aging infrastructure.

“As these things get to the point where they wear out and have got to be replaced, it’s far more expensive than what we paid when it first went in. If we don’t do something about it, they continue to age, they continue to fail. but they also cost more and more to replace and renew,” said Douglas Cote, the Assistant Director over Operations at MAWSS.

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