Main Street traffic reduced following discovery of new cave-in

Main Street traffic
August 23, 2018

A recently discovered sewer cave-in has forced Louisville MSD to reduce traffic on Main Street in the midst of other repairs to the same sewer line underneath the street.

The cave-in was found when video from a remote-control camera placed into the line for inspection revealed a hole in the side of the pipe. Debris, including abandoned pipes, have fallen into the large sewer line from this hole. 

The cave-in wasn’t present when MSD last inspected this portion of the pipe on June 21.

For public safety, MSD has reduced Main Street traffic in this area, with only one lane open on the north side of Main Street midway between Third and Fourth streets to midway between Fourth and Fifth streets. Access to the PNC garage is open.


At this point, MSD is determining the amount of damage to the large pipe and how this will affect the ongoing planned repair of the sewer line. A team of outside experts and MSD engineers are looking at options that will allow safe entry into this pipe for a closer inspection. This will help us modify the repair plan. In the meantime, sewer service continues. There have been no injuries with this project or the cave-in.

MSD previously discovered a problem with the pipe in March and closed part of Main Street between Fourth and Seventh streets. Known as the Ohio River Interceptor, the pipe carries approximately 40 percent of Louisville’s wastewater flow, transporting it to Morris Forman Water Quality Treatment Center for treatment and release of the treated water into the Ohio River.

In June, MSD announced a $20 million project to repair the damaged section from Fourth to midway between Seventh and Eighth streets. The repair project for the interceptor pipe includes lining the interior of the pipe with corrosion-resistant PVC panels fit together by hand and sealed to the unique shape of the pipe. This repair essentially creates a sturdy new pipe inside the damaged pipe.