First Avenue remains shut down between Forest Avenue and Ogden Avenue after two different water mains owned by the village of McCook, delivering water to Riverside, ruptured on Friday morning.

Riverside Public Works Director Edward Bailey said it’s unknown at this point how long it will take to make the repairs and reopen the street to traffic, but construction crews are onsite, assessing the damage.

Both of the mains travel east and west under First Avenue. One, a 16-inch main, crosses the state highway at Waubansee Road, while the other crosses near Salt Creek. The Salt Creek main had ruptured on Sunday, July 15, and was repaired at that time.

But for some reason both mains failed mid-morning on Friday, said Bailey. The water mains are the responsibility of McCook.

“Once the mains are repaired, the village of Riverside will be seeking an explanation for why the mains broke,” said Bailey.

While the broken mains have interrupted water service from McCook, Riverside is still being supplied with water from its reservoir, which is “topped off,” said Bailey. Should that supply grow low, Riverside will also be able to access water from the standpipe on 26th Street in North Riverside and from the Brookfield-North Riverside Water Commission, if necessary.

The main failure has also affected entry to the South Gate at Brookfield Zoo. Traffic coming from south of Forest Avenue cannot get through via First Avenue at all, and travel south of 31st Street has been restricted to local residents, according to a zoo spokeswoman.

Entry to the zoo’s North Gate is not affected by the road closure, other than traffic delays on First Avenue due to the situation.