By Beth Germano

WINTHROP (CBS) – Michael Cunningham has had better days, sloshing through water to get to his Winthrop home after a water main break sent water flowing down several streets off Winthrop Shore Drive.

“It’s awful. This isn’t the first time. We’ve had water problems here before but nothing like this,” Cunningham said.

A man walks through a flooded sidewalk in Winthrop after a water main break (Image credit Beth Germano)

The focal point of the break was beneath a backhoe on Winthrop Shore Drive where a revitalization project has been underway since the summer. In addition to replacing an aging water main here, the project will eventually widen sidewalks, repair seawalls, and create new amenities for visitors at the seaside location.

On Thursday, that was difficult to picture. “They’re here at 7 a.m. every morning pounding away. The house rattles and I’m always making sure nothing erupts like this,” said Michael Navarro. The water was pouring down Navarro’s street and some residents felt trapped by water at least for a time.

According to the city, the contractor was “removing a section of old pipe per their contract requirement when they unknowingly pulled out a section that was still attached to the live, sixteen inch water main that is intended to be left in place.”

Flooded road in Winthrop after water main break (Image from Beth Germano)

Fortunately the break did not cause a lot of damage but plenty of headaches. “They leave the streets a mess,” said Cunningham. “We’re getting to December and we haven’t got all these problems solved.”

The Department of Conservation and Recreation which is overseeing the project says a gas line was also broken a few months back when asphalt was being removed. Residents keeping an eye on this mistake say they have to get through another year and a half to the completion date.

Beth Germano


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