Break of water main forces closure of Lawrence Public Library

City crews work on a water main break at the intersection of Seventh and Kentucky streets, Friday, December, 11, 2009. The break caused the public library to shut down and two businesses to go without water.

A water main break Friday in downtown Lawrence caused the public library to shut down and two businesses to go without water for several hours.

Jeanette Klamm, program manager for the Lawrence Department of Utilities, said the water main break was reported about 7:30 a.m. at Seventh and Kentucky streets. Klamm said such incidents are common when there are drastic changes in temperatures.

“It’s a risk of doing business, for the water department,” she said. “All the pipes – water and sewer – are in the ground and as the ground shifts, these kinds of things happen.”

Officials shut down Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt., for the entire day. The library had been scheduled to be open until 9 p.m. Friday. It’s scheduled to reopen at 9 a.m. today. Saturday

“It was totally out of anyone’s control,” said Bruce Flanders, library director. “We regret any inconvenience to the public.”

Klamm said two businesses also were affected by the line break, Cold Stone Creamery and Starbucks Coffee, which are at the northwest corner of Seventh and Massachusetts.

“I guess it’s part of being in Kansas,” said Andrew Foster, who left Starbucks empty-handed Friday morning. “That stuff just happens; you just have to deal with it.”

Water was restored to the businesses and the library about 2:30 p.m., seven hours after the break, Klamm said.

A few lanes of traffic near Seventh and Kentucky streets were closed because of the break. The city said the road will be repaired next week.