A sidewalk along Main Street between Ninth and 10th streets will be open for people to stroll across the railroad tracks during downtown’s Ninth Annual Wines and Steins event this evening.

The street and sidewalks have been closed since a waterline broke Aug. 30 on the south side of the tracks.

Main Street itself will remain closed to vehicle traffic for about another week as city crews finish up repairs, said Jeff Crispin, director of the city’s Department of Water Resources, speaking Thursday evening after the Hays City Commission’s regular work session at City Hall, 1507 Main St.

“It was a failure of a line that was probably over 40 years old,” Crispin said. “We did a repair, and then it broke again Sunday night — not at the repair location — but directly under the tracks.”

Instead of repairing that break, a segment of new waterline 80- to 90-feet long is being installed by M&D Excavating, Hays.

“What we’re doing is boring in a new line using a local contractor, M&D of Hays, and the first step was to bore in a 14-inch steel encasement, which protects the waterline,” Crispin said. “It’s a 60-foot pipe, and then on Friday, they’ll actually bore in an 8-inch water line and make new connections and then water service should be back in business tomorrow afternoon.”

To accommodate Friday evening’s 9th Annual Wines and Steins, sponsored by the Downtown Hays Development Corp., the city will open a walkway on the west side of the street to allow strolling pedestrians to go back and forth across the tracks.

So far, no trains have been canceled as a result of the work, Crispin said. Finishing up repair of the road after the waterline repair will extend into next week, if not longer, he said.