RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A major water main break in Rensselaer is projected to cost the city more than $100,000 in repairs.
The water main break took place on Columbia Turnpike on Friday.
“This is massive,” Mayor Dan Dwyer said. “It actually lifted up the street.”
Dwyer said the break was the seventh broken pipe on Columbia Turnpike in the last two years. City leaders fear more will likely happen.
“A lot of times you’ll see a break, and then you’ll see another one or two in the exact same area,” Common Council President Brian Stall said.
The costs of the breaks are adding up, and city leaders are struggling to find ways to pay the bills. Dwyer said Friday’s break will cost a minimum of $100,000.
The cost to repair the break comes after the city spent nearly $2.5 million on infrastructure improvements in the last two years. The two percent tax cap in Rensselaer only generates $180,000.
“You can blow $180,000 on one repair like this one here,” Stall said.
If the city can’t find the money to fix its growing infrastructure problem, similar issues will reoccur and may delay and hurt the city from needed growth.
Dwyer said he hoped casino revenue would go toward infrastructure.
“Millions of dollars each year into infrastructure,” he said. “I would have started right away.”
Dwyer said it would cost upward of $40 million to fix the city’s sewers and water mains, but he doesn’t want to raise taxes to get the money.
“I don’t know how we’re going to do it, but we’re going to try and hold the line,” he said.
Dwyer hopes the state will help small communities like Rensselaer with improvements because he said they can’t do it alone.
“Allocate so much money each year to infrastructure,” he said.
The repair is expected to last into the weekend.
The Rensselaer Police Department is asking motorists to avoid Route 9 and Route 20 in all directions from the I-787 East Greenbush exit and westbound traffic on Route 9 and Route 20 towards Albany.
All lanes of traffic have been closed at Aiken Avenue until further notice.