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Third Water Leak on Park Avenue Gives UES Students a Day Off

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Workers in yellow vests and orange hats repair a water leak in a street in front of a brick school building.
Montpelier city workers repair a broken water main on Park Avenue in front of the Union Elementary School on Thursday, May 23. Photo by Scott Muller.
By Cassandra Hemenway

A “couple thousand pounds a minute” water leak on Park Avenue interrupted the school day for students at Union Elementary School on Thursday, May 23. The leak — the third in the past 18 months — was reported at 6 a.m. according to Zach Blodgett, deputy director of the Montpelier Department of Public Works.

“The pipe had a hole in it, basically,” Blodgett told The Bridge. He said the cause of the hole was not immediately evident but was “probably just old pipes.”

A 7 a.m. email from Montpelier Roxbury Public Schools Superintendent Libby Bonesteel asked parents to keep students home if at all possible while the repairs were underway. She asked those who must send their children to school to send them with “lots of water,” noting they would be at the Montpelier High School for the day.

Repairs to that thrice broken water main, and those on Loomis Street as well, are slated for replacement for 2029 in a 20-plus-year water system schedule, Blodgett said. 

The city recently applied for $13 million in congressional earmarks for water system repairs, he noted. He said if the money comes through, “that would shift that timeline forward.”

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