MAJOR DISRUPTION: A burst water main caused some headaches in Bell Street on yesterday morning.
MAJOR DISRUPTION: A burst water main caused some headaches in Bell Street on yesterday morning. Sarah Harvey

Holey-moly! Burst water main forces road closure in CBD

A burst water main in Bell St, Ipswich is affecting traffic in the area.
A burst water main in Bell St, Ipswich is affecting traffic in the area.

UPDATE, 6AM: A burst water main has resulted in a whole lot of trouble for Ipswich CBD commuters with two holes appearing in busy Bell St.

One lane was closed off yesterday morning as work began to find the source of the leak, which was first noticed about 12.30am.

The job proved to be more difficult than first expected.

Both lanes had to be closed about noon, as workers started digging a second trench.

By mid-afternoon the excavator dug a second hole running across the middle of the street, measuring several metres long by at least 2m deep.

Ipswich City Council had to divert buses away from the public transport hub, with news that the street could be completely shut off until well into the evening.

A Queensland Urban Utilities spokeswoman said deep excavations were required to get to the source of the problem.

"It is turning into a challenging repair job," she said, "the excavations are quite deep."

Ipswich police district duty officer Sergeant Jose Alonso said excavation workers followed the pipe for quite some time in an effort to find the crack.

QUU said the burst main was first noticed about 12.30am yesterday, with a loss of water supply reported at 13 different properties.

All but one of those properties had the water restored - thanks to the use of a bypass system - by 9am, with QUU supplying bottled water to employees at the office building that remained without its normal supply.

It is not the first time Ipswich's CBD has been affected by an underground leak.

It was hard to miss the sinkhole that opened up at the city's busiest intersection - Brisbane and East St - in March, 2009. A leaking water main also caused that 5m deep abyss to open up.

A collapsed stormwater drain was blamed for another large sinkhole on Roderick St in March last year. Police created a 100m exclusion zone around the hole until repairs were done.



THURSDAY, 2PM: IT seems as though the burst water main in Bell St is causing more problems than first anticipated, with police confirming the road in Ipswich's CBD would be completely closed until about 9pm tonight.

Queensland Urban Utilities workers have dug a hole about 10m long by two metres deep in order to find and fix the source of the leak.

The leak was first detected early morning, with 13 properties losing water supply.

By 9am, all but one of those customers had their water back.

QUU supplied bottled water to people at the other building.

Ipswich City Council has diverted buses away from the street throughout the day.


THURSDAY, 12PM: Bell St in Ipswich's CBD has been completely closed off as Queensland Urban Utilities continue to search for the source of a burst water main.

The problem was first detected just after midnight, and water services were not restored to local customers until about 9am, when a bypass was installed.

Police say Bell St is likely to be closed until at least 6pm Thursday night.

More updates to come.

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