Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe
CITY OF Ironwood employees work on a water break along U.S. 2, near the Gogebic County Fairgrounds, in Ironwood Monday.
IRONWOOD - City of Ironwood public works employees on Monday were repairing a water line break near the Gogebic County Fairgrounds that was discovered over the weekend.
Ironwood Public Safety Department officer John Colassaco was on patrol around midnight Sunday when he noticed a large amount of water and ice on the highway across from Curry Park.
The report indicated it was a break in an area where many repair jobs have occurred in the past.
According to Bob Tervonen, city utility manager, breaks occur in that area at least once a year and the watermain will be replaced during the U.S. 2 road construction project that begins this summer.
The flowing water caused the snow to cave in along the highway.
Public works employee Joe Kuker salted the roadway and a crew tackled the leak later on Monday.
Tervonen said water line breaks across the city are down from years past because of water system improvements.
Some of the main causes across the city for homeowners' frozen lines are unheated basements or crawl spaces.
"Going back to 2002-03, we had 360 freeze-ups," Tervonen said. "Now, there are maybe 70 or 80."
Residents living at the end of water mains are called by the city and told to when to run their water to prevent freeze-ups.
With frost levels going down deep, on average more than 60 inches, some breaks remain a mystery.
"Sometimes we don't know what causes the break," Tervonen said, "but we handle it."
-Ralph Ansami, Cortney Ofstad