Repairs to a broken water main are likely to keep a section of U.S. 23 closed all day Thursday and possibly into Friday, city officials say.
The 16-inch main broke between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Wednesday and repairs are underway. Once the main is fixed contractors will have to fill the hole and apply asphalt before the highway can reopen.
All four lanes of the highway are closed between Blackburn Avenue and 39th Street, and traffic is being detoured while repairs are made.
Officials may be able to open one lane sometime Thursday but that is not certain.
The detour sends vehicles coming from Ashland right on 39th Street, then left on Gartrell Street, right on Russell, left on Blackburn and back to U.S. 23. Coming from Catlettsburg the route is reversed.
However, traffic is heavy on the detour route and city engineering director Ryan Eastwood recommended motorists from Ashland make a wider detour, turning right on 29th Street, bearing left to Belmont Street, then right on Blackburn and left on Ky. 168 (South Belmont).
Ky. 168 completely bypasses the area, bringing traffic into Catlettsburg via Paul Purvis Road.