Independence city officials estimate a block of 23rd Street east of Missouri 291 will be closed most of the week following a water main break early Monday.


The break happened about midnight, water department officials said, when a pipe burst underneath 23rd in front of the Independence Utilities Center (the former Medical Center of Independence site). The break sent water gushing east along 23rd Street and crumbled the pavement above it. The road will be closed between R.D. Mize Road and Redwood Avenue until possibly Friday, as the necessary repairs go beyond that of a usual water main break.


Dan Montgomery, water department director, said the pipe was one of the city's larger ones and had been installed in 1956, but that section had shown no signs of leaking. When 23rd Street (also Missouri 78) got expanded, the roadway went over the pipe. The Missouri Water Company, which operated the area's water supply at the time, decided not to move the pipe at that time.


The chief detour for traffic Monday had been Redwood Avenue and Medical Center Parkway, around TruckMovers. A spokesperson for the Independence School District said the district was able to reroute buses and continue routes with “minimal disruptions” Monday, as Blackburn Elementary to the south and the middle school complex to the east off 23rd Street are near the road closure.


City officials recommend that those traveling west on 23rd Street to Blackburn Elementary turn left at the Speck Road light, right onto Holke Road, left onto Viking Drive and right onto 25th Terrace, which becomes R.D. Mize Road.