The Portland Water District is repairing a water main break in Portland that has reduced traffic on Washington Avenue to one lane.

The break was reported in the area of 2050 Washington Ave., according to the Portland Water District. The break is affecting about 80 customers and is expected to be repaired by 9 p.m. Thursday.

Portland city officials say the repair work will impact the evening commute in the North Deering area because of the lane closure.

Last week, the water district repaired five breaks in two days, a situation officials say was the result of a 50-degree swing in temperatures. Three more water main breaks in Portland were reported and repaired on Sunday.

Michelle Clements, spokeswoman for the Portland Water District, said last week that the fluctuating weather has strained the area’s aging infrastructure. Frost has reached 3 to 3½ feet into the ground, just above water pipes that are buried 5 to 5½ feet deep.

“When the frost penetrates or recedes, it puts added pressure on the water mains,” Clements said. “They can break.”

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