Burst pipe under Glenbrook Road causes sinkhole, flooding

A UConn Facilities Operations & Building Services truck is seen in a sinkhole on Glenbrook Road next to the Arthur Bronwell engineering building in Storrs, Connecticut on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. (Julia Werth/The Daily Campus)

A UConn Facilities Operations & Building Services truck is seen in a sinkhole on Glenbrook Road next to the Arthur Bronwell engineering building in Storrs, Connecticut on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. (Julia Werth/The Daily Campus)

A water main burst under Glenbrook Road around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, flooding the Arthur Bronwell engineering building.

The first floor of the building was flooded with about 4 inches of water, according to an email sent out to all UConn engineering students.

“It was apparently a large leak in the water main that goes under Glenbrook Road. So while the water was accumulating and going into the engineering buildings, it was also causing the road to be compromised,” UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. “They [maintenance] were there overnight to get the water turned off.”

Several of the surrounding classroom buildings are affected by the water shutdown – the Neag School of Education Building, the Castleman Building and the Gentry Building. No residential buildings were affected. 

The compromised road and water-logged soil from the leak caused a large sinkhole in the road to develop while the campus was being plowed during Saturday night’s storm.

“One of our plows got stuck in a sinkhole for a while, one of the back tires fell in. There was no danger to the driver but we did have to get heavy equipment,” Reitz said.

Repairs on the pipe, and road began early this morning. A large amount of silt was left in the carpet of Bronwell after the water was removed from the building. It is uncertain if the floor will have to be replaced or not.

“These water lines under campus, some of them date back to the turn of the 20th century. So a lot of them are decades old,” Reitz said. “If we have any sense there is a leak area, we address it before any problems occur. But sometimes we are taken by complete surprise.”

It is unlikely that this break will affect classes held on Monday morning in these buildings.

“We don’t know yet at this point, we’re hoping we can get everything fixed and back online today, Sunday, but particularly with the buildings not affected by the water there are no anticipated problems,” Reitz said. “But generally the first floor [of Bronwell] is office space.”

News editor Julia Werth contributed reporting.


Sarah McNeal is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at sarah.mcneal@uconn.edu.