Img_1885A pump-out hose clears water from a hole where a hydrant stood on Monmouth Street.

Water service was shut off and Monmouth Street was closed to vehicle traffic this afternoon after a water line burst during the replacement of a fire hyrdrant, Red Bank officials said.

The disruption halted traffic between Broad Street and Drummond Place and affected several dozen businesses, including a gaggle of hair salons. All were warned shortly after the noon pipe break that water service would be shut down for several hours this afternoon, and a number of them opted to close for the day.

“That was my biggest concern,” Public Works Director Gary Watson told redbankgreen. “The hair.” He said he imagined someone in mid-dye job finding herself stuck waiting for a rinse.

As of about 4:20p, replacement parts had been brought in and repair work was ahead of schedule, Watson said.

Img_1905Down in the hole, hoping to beat the dinner rush.

The incident involved a 67-year-old hydrant outside Willy’s steak sandwich shop that was damaged by a car or truck a couple of months ago. As a public works crew was removing the hydrant for replacement, a supply line estimated to be perhaps a century old burst, quickly filling the surrounding hole and sending a stream of muddy water eastward.

Business owners took the event mostly in stride. “I’d much rather this happen on a warm day in January than in June,” said Chris Wall, of the newly opened Carter & Cavero olive oil store.

“As long as the guys buy a couple of cheesesteaks, I’ll be happy,” Willy’s owner Lee Edwards Sr. said of the repair crew.

“People have been great,” said Watson, who was on the scene. “What are you gonna, right?”

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