Assembly Street re-opened to traffic around 5 o'clock Wednesday after a day of detours. Motorists traveling North or South on Assembly were still unable to turn left (across the intersection) onto Lady Street.
According to a release from Columbia authorities, intermittent lane closures in the area will continue for the next few days.
A large collapse in a key water line shut down traffic in the Vista on Assembly Street between Gervais and Lady streets about 10:30am. Water was gushing from the broken street surface until city officials shut down the flow.
Traffic was rerouted away from Assembly Street on the blocks between Gervais, at the State House, and Washington, two blocks north. Drivers are advised to approach the Vista and downtown from another direction. Lady Street between Main and Park streets is also closed.
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State and city officials are trying to assess the damage, which could be considerable. The street surface ruptured in at least four places under and around the intersection. Water was slowly flowing from four cracks, each about 5 to 7 yards apart.
“That means there’s a lot of substructural damage,” Dickinson said.
Columbia’s Director of Utilities and Engineering Joey Jaco said Vista and downtown restaurants should have water during today’s lunch.
“They may get a little discoloration, but just a little bit, and it’s fine,” Jaco said.
A few small businesses right at the intersection might have their water turned off, Jaco said.
City workers using a backhoe discovered the main leak - a two-foot gash in a cast-iron water pipe - right in the middle Assembly and Lady streets.