July 29--Thomas Heyward Street in Old Town Bluffton will likely remain closed through the weekend.
Vehicles have been restricted from a portion of the road between Bridge Street and May River Road since Tuesday when a Time Warner Cable installation crew damaged an underground water main and gas lines.
The broken main flooded much of the block Tuesday, leaving neighborhood residents without water service for hours.
The flooding also caused a large sinkhole to form in the middle of the roadway.
Crews with South Carolina Electric & Gas and Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority were able to control the flooding, then restore water and gas service to the neighborhood by late Tuesday afternoon.
The sinkhole has been filled with dirt and gravel and residents can get in and out of their homes.
But Bluffton officials won't allow Thomas Heyward Street to fully reopen until the cable company presents certification from an engineer that the roadway is safe and drivable, town spokeswoman Debbie Szpanka said earlier this week.
As of Friday, that had yet to happen.
"We're working with the (town) and repair crews to have the street repairs completed and certified as quickly as possible," Time Warner Cable spokesman Patrick Paterno said in an email Friday.
Bluffton Police Department spokeswoman Joy Nelson said Friday that "repair work is going on as we speak," but the road will likely remain closed "until Monday or Tuesday afternoon."
Szpanka could not provide a specific date Friday for the reopening, but agreed with Nelson that "it is anticipated the road will be open early next week."
The investigation into what specifically caused the water main break -- and who is at fault -- is ongoing.
Joe DeVito, Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority field operations coordinator, said earlier this week that if the cable installers are determined to be at fault, the company could be billed for the resources used to clean up Tuesday's mess.
Contractors with Time Warner Cable have been working in Bluffton since early June.
They are "installing infrastructure in order to provide video, internet and phone service to local homes and businesses," according to a Bluffton news release.
Lucas High: 843-706-8128, @IPBG_Lucas
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