Cobblestone road in Detroit's West Canfield Historic District severely damaged by water main break

Cleanup continues in Detroit's Midtown


DETROIT – A water main break flooded a large part of Detroit's Midtown on Saturday afternoon, causing the most damage inside a historic district.

The West Canfield Historic District, built on a cobblestone road in Detroit's budding Midtown neighborhood, has preserved much of its storied history through the ups and downs of the city.

The historic neighborhood on West Canfield is located between Third and Second, sandwiched between Willis and Prentis. It's one street with 14 Victorian-style houses, many dating back to the mid-to-late 1800s.

Related: How Detroit's preservation movement started in the West Canfield Historic District

The cobblestone road, which was restored in the 1970s, was severely damaged by the water main break on Saturday. Water crews said the issue was a 30-inch transmission main break. The cast iron main was installed in 1886.

Crews worked through the night, into Sunday morning to remove a huge portion of an old pipe.


It's unclear how long the clean up will take and what the future of the historic road holds. Currently, the road is closed to traffic from Third Avenue, making it nearly impossible for residents to reach their driveways.

Cars stuck in the flooding zone were towed by multiple companies late Saturday night to make room for crews. It took several hours to find the source of the break and to shut the water off.

According to authorities, crews isolated the water main and used the redundancy in the Detroit water system to continue to provide water service to the nearby residents and businesses. Some businesses did experience temporary low pressure late Saturday afternoon that has since been resolved.  

Once the water main is repaired, Canfield Street, including its historic brick pavers, will be restored. Sidewalks and lawns that may have been damaged as a result of the water main break will also be repaired.

Residents on Canfield who experienced property damage related to the water main break may file a claim by calling DWSD at 313-267-8000 to get a claim number and then complete an online form here.


ORIGINAL STORY: West Canfield Street flooded at Second Avenue in Midtown due to water main break

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