NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A water main ruptured early Wednesday in Manhattan, disrupting L train service during the morning commute.

The 20-inch main burst shortly before 6 a.m. near 14th Street and Seventh Avenue in Chelsea. 

L train service was suspended in both directions between the Eighth Avenue and Bedford Avenue stations for about an hour and a half.

Complete service was restored shortly after 12 p.m.

“The main job now for us is to get the damage repaired,” Transit Authority President Andy Byford told reporters Wednesday morning. “These were switches and what we call stop motors – electrical equipment that was completely submerged in water. Obviously, it can stand rainwater, but to be completely submerged means extensive damage.”

“My crews estimate this will take between four to six hours to repair. We’ve got a number of motors to replace,” Byford continued. “We’ll get that done, they’re professionals, they know what they’re doing. I’m very confident we’ll have the full line back by the evening peak, probably sooner.”

“Water has stopped flowing into the tunnel. Our crews are on site to clear the water and debris and install replacement switch and signal equipment where necessary. We are working hard to restore full service by the afternoon rush,” the MTA tweeted.

“Our crews are cleaning debris from the tracks; new stop motors are also being delivered to the affected area and will be installed where needed,” the agency posted earlier.

“Our crews are on site and pumping water out from the submerged tracks,” another tweet read.

CBS2’s Tara Jakeway spoke with some frustrated commuters.

“Especially in rush hour, you need the things to keep rolling,” Manhattan resident David Blumberg said. “There’s no excuse.”

Others, however, made the most of it.

“It’s OK. I got a nice walk,” said Inwood resident Nneka Njoko. “I just like to look at the bright side.”

Yancy Roberson was on his way to a job interview and spent his walk up Seventh Avenue wondering how to explain what happened.

“I’ll just tell them it’s like this all the time, the subway station is always like this,” he said. “The MTA got to do more for the consumers.”


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