A water main break on U.S. 1 at MM 84.5 on Windley Key is expected to slow traffic through Islamorada for the day as the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority conducts repair work.
FKAA was alerted to the break near Postcard Inn Resort & Marina during the early morning hours on Wednesday. Crews began tearing up the southbound lane to get to the pipe break. A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office alert went out around 7 a.m. notifying motorists of the break and expected backups.
According to Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay, northbound traffic is being diverted to the Old Highway since southbound vehicles are using the northbound lane.
“You should be careful coming through this area,” Ramsay said during a video shared to Facebook. “Watch for cones, flagmen and deputies. Just go slow and look out for workers.”
Greg Veliz, new executive director with FKAA, said the repair work is expected to take roughly 12 hours.
“The guys will be out in the sun all day to change a 30-inch pipe and probably rebuild two lanes of road,” Veliz told the Keys Weekly. “The water pushed up the asphalt in the southbound and turn lanes. We’re on it and it will be a pretty easy dig; there’s just a lot of water in the hole because of the tide.”
No boil orders are in place, and Veliz said the break affected only one customer.
FKAA is beginning work on a 4-mile, $42-million water main replacement project from Tea Table Key at MM 79 to Whale Harbor at MM 84. According to Veliz, the pipe that broke is just outside the scope of that major project.
Motorists should expect delays driving through Islamorada to their destinations.
— This story will be updated as more information becomes available.