Temperatures were nowhere near freezing, but a water main under Raritan Avenue broke on Monday afternoon, July 27. This was the second warm weather break at this location in the past 10 weeks.
The borough announced the latest break at 3:06 p.m., via the municipal Twitter account. It was not clear from the announcement whether residents would need to boil their tap water. The tweet did report that there was no loss of water pressure resulting from the break.
This particular break occurred at Raritan and North Ninth avenues, leading police to close a portion of North Ninth Avenue between Raritan Avenue and Abbott Street during the afternoon.
There was a water main break in the same spot the morning of May 19, 2015, when the force of the leaking water was sufficient to lift the road from its bed and crack it along its center seam.
Municipal officials could not be reached for comment Monday following the break. The water delivery infrastructure is old and ailing. The pipes that deliver Highland Park’s drinking water first were laid in the 1920s and have been repaired, but not substantially upgraded or replaced since then.
This venerable age has left the pipes vulnerable to the subtle shifts in the ground caused by freezing during the winter. In May, officials attributed that particular break to the load brought to bear by the Raritan Avenue traffic volume, which has been estimated to be as high as 25,000 cars a day.