Portion of East Broadway at South Preston Street closed due to cave-in of 152 year-old sewer line

July 23, 2018

Work is underway to repair a broken sewer pipe that runs under the middle lanes of Broadway at South Preston Street. This three-layer brick sewer installed in 1866, has experienced similar failures in different locations as recently as 2015, 2014 and 2009. The five center lanes of Broadway have been blocked to traffic, leaving one eastbound and one westbound lane open in the area.

There is no disruption of sewer service in the area during the repair.

After 152 years of service, the bricks that form this pipe began to unravel at a joint where another repair was made in 1989. The small breaks in the joint, together with heavy rain, caused a large void, or open space, under the pavement. The void is approximately 10-feet by 15-feet and 8-feet deep. No injuries have been reported.

The work is complicated by the location of two large water pipes in the area. Precautions are underway to protect those water pipes during the sewer line repair work.

There is no estimate on a completion date at this time.

MSD maintains more than 3,300 miles of sewer lines – enough to stretch from California to Maine, and many dating back 75 years or more. In the past 12 months, MSD has responded to more than 1,100 cave-ins across the community, including recent collapses of a stone sewer at 2nd and Main streets and a brick sewer at Liberty Street between East Chestnut and Baxter Avenue, both more than 150 years old. To view a map of cave-ins over the past year, visit: LouisvilleMSD.org/prevent-collapsing-sewers.