Water main break at busy Northampton intersection snarls traffic

  • A water main broke near the intersection of King Street and Damon Road in Northampton at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Northampton Police Department

  • Police officers direct traffic after a water main break flooded Damon road and King Street shuting down Bridge Rd. and Damon Rd. Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 14, 2022. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Published: 12/14/2022 2:22:22 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A water main broke at the intersection of King Street and Damon Road in Northampton on Wednesday afternoon, causing flooding, water outages and traffic mayhem in the area.

According to Northampton Police Capt. Victor Caputo, police were already on the scene when the break occurred, around 1:40 p.m., assisting lighting contractors doing construction work along the road. Caputo said the incident occurred after work had been finished for the day.

“As they were leaving the scene, that’s when water started coming out,” he said. “I don’t believe it’s construction related.”

The intersection, near the Big Y supermarket and several car dealerships, was closed off as the city’s Department of Public Works worked to remedy the situation. Traffic on Damon Road was redirected to nearby Industrial Drive, while drivers on Bridge Road and King Street were unable to access Damon Road.

The road closure, combined with traffic already built up due to the previous construction work, caused massive traffic delays. Traffic was still being redirected from the area as of late Wednesday afternoon.

The incident caused interruptions to water service to DPW customers along King Street, including the many businesses in that area. The cause of the water main break is still under investigation. Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra said she expected water service to return to the area late Wednesday evening.

“Northampton DPW’s capable crews are at the scene and are working hard to restore service as quickly as possible,” Sciarra said. “Please stay safe and plan your travel in the area of King Street and Damon Road accordingly, and avoid the area if at all possible.”

Gagliarducci Construction was doing work on the road earlier in the day, on a contract by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The work is meant to provide improvements to traffic signals and extended sidewalks, according to the DPW. That project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.

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