By Jason Spencer and Mary Ann Barton
Update (Thursday 7:37 a.m.): Columbia Pike has reopened, after a water main break closed it Wednesday afternoon into the early hours Thursday, according to Fairfax Water spokeswoman Jeanne Bailey.
Update (Thursday 3:52 a.m.): Fairfax Water crews worked through the night to restore water service to hundreds of residents in the Bailey's Crossroads area, repairing a water main break that closed part of Columbia Pike.
While water service has been restored, it was uncertain in the early morning hours whether crews would still be working to make repairs to the roadway, according to spokeswoman Jeanne Bailey.
"Crews are working to repair the road," she said. "Morning traffic impact is not yet determined."
Columbia Pike was still closed at about 4 a.m., between South Carlin Springs Road and Route 7/Leesburg Pike, near the Arlington-Fairfax county line.
Update (8:18 p.m.): Hundreds of residents and some businesses remained without water Wednesday night as they waited for the Fairfax Water Authority to fix a water main break in the Bailey's Crossroads area.
The break was first reported at 3:43 p.m. Wednesday after drivers called police about traffic backing up in the area.
"Water is shut down," Fairfax Water spokeswoman Jeanne Bailey told Patch. "... We will work to get this repaired as quickly as possible."
Fairfax Water crews are on site and waiting for Miss Utility to clear utility lines before starting repairs, she said. Miss Utility/Virginia 811 bills itself as a free one-call Virginia communications center for excavators, contractors, property owners and anyone else planning on digging or demolition work.
Shutting off the water to the broken 12-inch main is affecting several buildings, including apartments and condos, along Columbia Pike between South Carlin Springs Road and Route 7.
Once utilities are cleared and repair crews can get to work, Fairfax Water officials may be able to begin estimating how long the area will be affected.
"We have no idea yet how long the repair will take," Bailey said at about 8:20 p.m.
Update (5:11 p.m.): Fairfax Water Authority crews are attempting to shut down water flowing to the broken 12-inch pipe in the Bailey's Crossroads area, and a repair crew is on the way, spokeswoman Jeanne Bailey told Patch.
It wasn't immediately clear if cold weather Wednesday night would affect progress, or if the problem could affect traffic Thursday morning.
Original article (4:44 p.m.): Fairfax County police have shut down part of Columbia Pike in the Bailey's Crossroads area thanks to a water main break that happened just before the afternoon rush hour.
The stretch of the Pike between South Carlin Springs Road and Route 7/Leesburg Pike near the Arlington-Fairfax county line is closed in both directions so the break can be assessed and repaired.
Authorities are advising motorists to avoid the area if possible during their afternoon commute.
"That's the most important thing: Stay Away," Fairfax police spokesman Eddy Azcarate told Patch.
The break was first reported at 3:43 p.m. Wednesday.
As of 4:30 p.m., the Fairfax Water Authority was on the scene, though Azcarate was not sure if officials had a chance to assess the situation yet.
It was not immediately clear how long this portion of Columbia Pike would be closed or how many homes may be affected with low or no water pressure.