UPDATE: The Service Department said Wednesday afternoon that it . Crews were hoping to reopen two lanes by Thursday morning's rush hour. A boil alert remains in effect until Thursday morning.
Two lanes of Pearl Road are expected to reopen to traffic this afternoon following a major water main break near Albion Road this morning.
Pearl is still closed in both directions between Albion and Valley Parkway, but Service Director Joe Walker said the goal is to get two lanes open by early afternoon.
"There's a lot of debris on the road, so it's not safe yet," Walker said this morning.
A 30-inch water main ruptured about 2:15 a.m., creating a crater in the road and sending water cascading down the hill. The flow washed out decorative stones along the side of Pearl Road, leaving piles of rocks in the roadway near Valley Parkway.
Alex Margevicius, commission of the Cleveland Division of Water, said crews were able to close off enough valves to restore water pressure to most homes just before 6 a.m.
A boil alert has been issued for an area south of Whitney, north of Lunn, east of Prospect and west of Howe.
"It's just a precaution," Margevicius said. "Folks may want to boil their water for consumption."
Strongsville schools are closed today because of the early water interruption. The also was closed this morning, but opened at 10 a.m.
Margevicius said the line that ruptured was installed in 1964.
"There's a lot of pressure on this line," Walker said. "Sometimes they just go."
Cleveland bears the responsibility for the repairs.
"It's our transmission line, so we'll be taking care of it," Margevicius said.
He said the crews will open the street, replace the water line and repair the pavement, which will take three to five days.