The town of Manchester, N.H., has been replacing about two miles of aging water pipeline annually in recent years, but municpal crews could not complete their task before a 12-in.-dia water main dating back to 1901 burst. The rupture on Dec. 13 created a street sinkhole that was perilous for one driver.
“A cap blew off the back of a cross on the water main,” before water gushed up on the left side of the subcompact, trapping it on a live gas main, says Guy Chabot, distribution engineer at the Manchester Water Works. “The 110-year-old main broke due to fatigue." The car and its driver were pulled to safety, but 200 ft of roadway collapsed or was undermined, officials say.