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After water main break forces shutdown, service resumes on Montreal’s Orange line

Click to play video 'Montreal Metro hit by flooding after pipe bursts' Montreal Metro hit by flooding after pipe bursts
It has been a tough commute for Montrealers after a pipe burst and flooded part of the Metro's Orange line.

Service has resumed on the Orange line of the Montreal Metro on Thursday afternoon after a water main break downtown forced a partial shutdown for hours.

The shutdown started around 6:30 a.m. between Lionel-Groulx and Berri-UQAM stations. The Société de transport de Montréal (STM), the city’s public transit authority, said trains are stopping again at the Square-Victoria-OACI station, which was hit by flooding.

The Montreal fire department explained that a 12-inch pipe under Viger Avenue burst early Thursday morning. It is not yet clear what caused the pipe to break.

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Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante told reporters that the leak has since been capped, but water has been cut off for about 200 residences and about six businesses in the area. However, she said the burst is not related to work underway with a different water main in the city.

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“We can’t tell you what happened with the pipe,” she said.

The shutdown made for a rough morning for public transit users. The STM asked commuters to use the Green line to get downtown, but there were long lineups and delays.

Montreal police were overseeing the Berri-UQAM station, where hundreds of commuters waited in line to board the Green line in either direction.

The water main break has also forced the closure of Viger Avenue between Bleury and Robert-Bourassa streets to vehicles and pedestrians. Traffic at Philipps Square was also at a standstill during morning rush hour, according to police.

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“Please avoid the area,” said spokesperson Raphael Bergeron.

City crews are excavating the affected section of Viger Avenue. “Repair work will be long and complex due to the water pipe’s depth. There is also another 30-inch pipe and an electric chamber [in the way],” Camille Begin, a spokesperson for city of Montreal said. “We’re expecting a return to normal tomorrow [Friday] during the day.”

Begin says the pipe dates from 2002 and that in 2019, the city performed checks in the area but didn’t detect any leaks.

The incident has created major delays and lineups at Berri-UQAM station.
The incident has created major delays and lineups at Berri-UQAM station. Karen Macdonald/Global News

— With files from Global News’ Brayden Jagger Haines

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