Complete repairs and restoration following the water main break that sent millions of gallons of water gushing into Center City earlier this month could take until the end of the year to finish up, according to the Philadelphia Water Department.
The department held a community meeting Wednesday for those impacted by the main break on Sansom and Juniper Streets, sharing details on alternate delivery service, business signage, compensation and updates on the repair timeline.
The department is now "working to isolate a 20-inch main in Sansom Street" and hopes to complete work in the intersection sometime in the fall with "ideally the full project" taking until "the end of this calendar year" for completion. The department initially shared a tentative timeline of "several months" after the incident first occurred on July 3.
The intersection will be closed until the work, including paving, is finished.
The cause of the break is still undetermined.
"We take our responsibility to our customers and the citizens of Philadelphia very seriously, and we hope that the repairs we are doing will ensure that we never have to return to that exact location ever again," the department said in its community update.
Information on "open for business" signage, an assistance grant as well as small business administration loan were provided during the meeting, according to notes shared on a website set up by the department to provide regular notifications on the break.
"Last night we just wanted to share all the information we have," John DiGiulio, spokesman for the department, said Thursday.
There are no formal plans for a similar meeting in the future, but the department is open to organizing others if so desired from the community, DiGiulio said.
About 30 to 40 businesses were impacted, while the city's liability is limited to $500,000 for the entire incident.
"Situations like this, this case will take a while," McCarty told the Inquirer and Daily News earlier this month. "People should keep track of all their receipts. … They have to accept claims up to two years, and then once that's all collated by risk management, it gets turned over to a judge and the judge determines how the funds are distributed. My experience is that folks will get, unfortunately, pennies on the dollar."
Some businesses in the area were quicker to bounce back than others. El Vez opened to customers days after while Bar shared that it was "finally reopened" in a Facebook post Wednesday.
Time, a whiskey bar at 13th and Sansom Streets that saw four to five feet of water, continues to work "diligently to open as soon as [it] can," according to the restaurant's website.