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Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017
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Eastern Fletcher Avenue may be closed weeks for water-main repairs near Hillsborough River

Motorists who use a stretch of westbound East Fletcher Avenue will have to rely on detours for at least week as the city works to repair damage from a water main break.

Officials with the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County say it will take at least through next week to repair the stretch of road near the Hillsborough River bridge. Authorities closed the segment between Interstate 75 and Telecom DriveTuesday after discovering the damage.

A passerby walking along Fletcher called authorities after noticing a large hole adjacent to the bridge abutment on the east side of the river and the north side of the bridge, said Chuck Webster, the city's water department director. A small leak in a 16-inch city water main caused the soil to erode, creating a hole roughly 20 feet wide, 40 feet long and 10 feet deep, Weber said.

The city is waiting for county engineers to devise a repair plan for the road. When the county sends the plan to the city, city officials will hire a contractor to do the work, Weber said.

"We'll move around the clock as quickly as we can to repair it," he said.

County engineers were at the site Wednesday working on the plan, said Kara Walker, a county spokeswoman.

"The closures along Fletcher are expected to remain in place at a minimum through next week, while the county works to finalize recommendations for a repair plan," Walker said in an email. "In the meantime, the county will continue to coordinate with the Sheriff's Office and the City of Tampa on any detours for motorists.

Motorists can take westbound E Fowler Avenue, southbound Interstate 75 to Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, or I-275 to E Fletcher Avenue, and south on N 56th Street to bypass the blocked area. Check the status of the road closures at www.tampagov.net/roadclosures.

Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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