UPDATE: The Tampa Water Department anticipates that all travel lanes affected by a water main break on Gandy Boulevard and Himes Avenue will reopen by 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 16.
TAMPA (WFLA) – A water main break is expected to impact traffic at a main intersection in South Tampa for several days, according to city officials.
A spokesperson for the Tampa Water Department says a water main break immediately shut down parts of West Gandy Boulevard and South Himes Avenue on Thursday afternoon.
South Himes Avenue is fully closed between West Hawthorne Road and West Marlin Avenue. West Gandy Boulevard is completely shut down from South Dale Mabry Highway to South Sherwood Avenue.
“With the traffic out here today, and the lack of being able to get to our restaurant, we’ve had to close out early on one of our places where we generate thousands a day. And it’s pretty rough,” said Brittany Eppler, owner of Big Island Poke.
Other local business owners lamented that the closure was costing them money.
“It’s the money. And the city does not like me to pay anything late. So they better do something about that. Because I need the money. We need the money. Everybody,” said Luis Zamora, who owns Vino E Pasta on Gandy. Much of his staff had nothing to do except watch the road work, since nobody could access their restaurant by car.
City officials say work on the water main break likely won’t be completed until Tuesday evening. Once traffic is back to normal, workers may still need to complete additional work.
Eagle 8 HD flew over the break on Thursday and saw machines tearing up the road to get to the break.
The spokesperson for the water department is asking drivers to be careful when traveling in the area. Barricades and signs have been put in place to help with traffic.
“The staff and crews of the Tampa Water Department appreciate everyone’s patience during this time,” the department spokesperson said.