19th C Water Main Break Causes 21st C Headache

A water main dating to 1895 burst Thursday morning and flooded the nearby Spokes café. (Photo courtesy Dan Walsh)

By Kevin Collison

Flooding caused by a burst, 127 year-old water main near 10th and Walnut has forced the Spokes Café|Cyclery to close temporarily and prompted Commerce Bank to protect a side entrance with sand bags.

“It’s pretty bad,” Spokes owner Dan Walsh said. “It blew the outlet covers off the wall and our drywall buckled from the pressure of the water. It was past our ankles.”

The café opened three years ago at 929 Walnut.

Walsh estimated it will take at least two weeks before the damage can be repaired. While the Walnut street location is closed, the original Spokes at 1200 Washington in Quality Hill remains open. A Crown Center café is expected to open in mid-April.

The flooding buckled walls at Spokes and left ankle-high water inside. (Photo courtesy Dan Walsh)

The Thursday morning rupture also prompted Commerce Bank to place temporary sand bags to protect its 10th street entrance.

“The slope on 10th Street is steep and it can easily come in and go straight to the basement,” said Thomas “Buzz” Willard, CEO of Tower Properties, the entity managing the building.

Heather Frierson, spokesperson for the KC Water, said the 10-inch main that ruptured dated to 1895.

“We’re in the process of replacing all our old water mains and this was on the list,” she said.

Frierson said the water main rupture near 10th and Main affected 32 customers who either lost their water or had low pressure. Service is expected to be returned today.

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