Battle of the bulge in CBD
A BURST water main in Ipswich's main street on Tuesday sent thousands of litres of water flowing down the drain only metres from the place where a gaping hole opened up in the CBD in 2009.
Police first noticed a bulge and some cracking in a section of road near the intersection of Brisbane St and East St just after midday, and within an hour they had closed off the left lanes of Brisbane St, just before the intersection.
A handful of businesses along Brisbane St had to contend with a loss of water for most of the afternoon, while traffic flow through the CBD was halted.
The fast-flowing water cracked a five-metre section of road but, unlike that infamous incident three years ago, there was no gaping hole to contend with. By late afternoon, an excavator had been called in to uncover the cause of the problem.
Cr Andrew Antoniolli said a 12-inch cast iron pipe had cracked. It was due to be replaced in the near future by Queensland Urban Utilities.
The ageing pipe is connected to the one which cracked and caused a gaping hole in the CBD road three years ago.
"It looks like it will be at least a six-hour job - so work will go well into the evening," Cr Antoniolli said. "QUU will patch it up for the time being so that they can continue their work in rolling out replacement pipe beneath the CBD."
The sight in town on Tuesday was reminiscent of what occurred at the same intersection on the afternoon of March 25, 2009.
A hole estimated at 5m deep opened up - gouged out by the leaking leaking water main - causing traffic chaos in the city and serious concerns that the entire intersection could collapse.
At the time, Cr Paul Tully said that but for a concrete girder built by the US Navy during the Second World War, a much bigger catastrophe would have occurred.