MANKATO — There was good news and bad news for city workers fixing the damage done by a weekend water main break at the intersection of Front and Cherry streets.
Tests Tuesday that checked the density of the ground below sections of the streets that haven’t been torn apart showed that the bases below the roads are solid, said Tony Talamantez, infrastructure superintendent for the Public Works Department. The bad news is the ground around the area where the main broke is still soft.
“Everything that is bad is in the area that we have open already,” he said. “We still have some soft spots in here. So we’re going to have a contractor come in, redig and replace the whole base.”
Once that work is done, the concrete panels that have been torn up will have to be replaced. It’s unlikely that work will be completed by this weekend. Talamantez said he’s fairly optimistic the work can wrap up sometime next week.
When the main blew Saturday afternoon, so much water flowed out that the intersection of Front and Cherry streets was completely flooded. Police officers and firefighters had to keep people away because public works employees were concerned the flowing water could open the ground and cause the road to collapse.
Access to the lower and upper sections of the Cherry Street ramp are open, however. So people visiting the downtown entertainment district can park close to the bars and restaurants. There is sidewalk access to all the businesses in the area.
The main downtown bus stop has been temporarily moved from the corner of the Cherry Street Ramp to Second Street, across from the post office.
“ We’re doing everything we can to get done as soon as possible,” Talamantez said.