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Who will pay for water main break on Manatee Avenue West?

BRADENTON — It was nothing short of a miracle that Manatee Avenue West was only shut down for three days, as opposed to the expected two weeks initially thought after a Frontier Communications contractor bored through a 10-inch water main on Aug. 2.

Public Works Director Jim McLellan said there was a lot more to the accident than what appeared initially. McLellan said when the drill hit the line, which was about 13 feet under Manatee Avenue, the drill went through the pipe, causing pressurized water to erupt out of both ends.

The subsequent damage was not only to the street. McLellan said it also took out the two electrical boxes that operate the traffic signals at Ninth and 10th streets west along Manatee Avenue. The city was able to keep one light operating via generator and the second by connecting into the electrical outlet normally used for Christmas decorations.

The contractor, MCI, will ultimately be responsible for the cost of the ongoing repair. Tenth Street West remains closed at Manatee Avenue and McLellan said he hopes to get that intersection reopened by next week.