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Labor Day Water Main Break

by Ken Signorello & Irene Wrenner

September 7, 2021

An end-of-summer work holiday abruptly turned into a night of heavy manual and mechanical labor after a water main broke near the corner of Pearl Street and Hillcrest Road at approximately 8 pm on September 6th.


Crews from Village Public Works and Vermont Gas, along with first responders, hurried to the scene, shut off utilities, and began to assess the damage, once the flood had receded. 

Jamie McMahon, Foreman at Essex Junction Public Works Department, predicted these crews would work through the night in order to minimize the amount of time that neighbors would be without a clean water supply to their homes and businesses.  

A large excavator from Don Weston Excavating, Inc. arrived promptly.

Don Weston himself used it to deftly rip up more of the roadbed and get down to the water main, while the Super Sucker 5000 vacuumed up gravel and soil as it was dug by hand from an ever-deepening curbside trench.


They found buckled asphalt along this heavily traveled portion of Route 15, west of Five Corners, known as Pearl Street. 


A series of seven short videos shot at the scene are available here:

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