A damaged water line has forced Long Beach Airport officials to close the primary runway and divert commercial air traffic to the secondary runway, changing the flight path so planes are now flying over California Heights and neighborhoods south of Heartwell Park.

Officials believe the line was damaged during nighttime construction on the airfield’s taxiway, according to spokesperson Kate Kuykendall. The facility is undergoing a $25 million replacement that began in January.

An investigation to confirm the cause of the damage is ongoing, Kuykendall added.

Repairs are expected to be completed today, but Kuykendall said, as with all construction projects, it could take longer.

Most commercial departures and arrivals are running as scheduled, instead using Runway 26R on the north end of the airfield. Some flights, however, such as those to and from Hawaii, may require the longer runway due to the weight and time it takes to increase or reduce speed.

Kuykendall said work was halted temporarily this morning to allow a flight to depart for Hawaii but that for now the runway is inaccessible. She encouraged passengers to check in with airlines to ensure flights are running as scheduled, delayed or canceled.

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Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.