Water main break causes traffic problems near Unser, McMahon

News

A water main break on a busy westside road is causing major traffic back up Wednesday night, and it’s not expected to be fixed for the next couple of days. 

McMahnon is down to one lane of traffic while construction crews work on repairing the road. 

“Water running down the street was unbelievable,” said Arlene Tuma, who lives nearby.

Gene and Arlene Tuma can see McMahnon Boulevard from their balcony. 

Tuesday night, they say it looked more like a river than a street. 

“All of a sudden you see these cars driving and the water is spraying everywhere like it’s flooded,” said Gene Tuma.  

The water main break caused the Water Authority to shut off their water.

“I filled a pail with water so that we’d have some here in case we needed it,” said Arlene. 

Drivers say it also shut down their commute. 

“There were people turning around coming the opposite way, so traffic was backed up pretty bad,” said Sean Simpson. 

People had their water turned back on Wednesday morning, but traffic in this busy area is still congested.

“With this just being one lane, this is going to cause a huge backup, probably up to Cibola around Ellison,” said a neighbor. 

The street is a main artery on the westside, surrounded by stores. It’s only a few miles away from Cottonwood Mall, and down the street from Rio Rancho’s only hospital. 

“Traffic can get through, but obviously it’s going to be a bit of a bottleneck there,” said David Morris, the Water Utility Authority’s public affairs manager.

The Water Authority says it doesn’t see repairs being finished for the next couple of days. In the meantime, drivers are being asked to avoid the area. 

The Water Authority still isn’t sure what caused the line to break, but they think it’s likely an older pipe. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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