MSD repairs cave-in of city’s oldest sewer at 2nd and Main

2nd and Main
June 19, 2018

While MSD recently announced a $20 million repair to one of Louisville’s largest sewer lines under Main Street at risk of a cave-in, our crews serve thousands of smaller work orders per year across the community for other sewer cave-ins that often go unnoticed.

One of those recent repairs actually was to one of Louisville’s oldest sewer lines, located at 2nd and Main streets downtown. Over the June 9 to June 10 weekend, an MSD crew repaired a cave-in and restored the intersection to normal function, avoiding disruption of the workweek traffic.

Cave-ins occur when aging and deteriorating sewer or drainage pipes crack or break, causing the ground or pavement above it to sink and give way. Many sewer lines are more than 75 years old and in fact, this line at 2nd and Main is nearly 160 years old and made of stone. It was made for a time when Louisville was a much smaller and much different city than today.

The crew began the repair by exposing the stone slab sewer and sealing the stone sewer gaps with water plugs. Then they poured grout mix to cap the 8-foot sewer and refilled the stone that had been dug out. They finished by re-laying concrete into the street and repaving the roadway. With the repair finished, the sewer line, as well as the intersection, is back up and running and will continue to be part of the infrastructure that creates safe, clean waterways for our community.

MSD maintains more than 3,300 miles of sewer lines – enough to stretch from California to Maine. To see a map of cave-ins over the past year, visit