Downtown gas leak disturbs traffic

East Jackson Boulevard was shut down from Waterfall Drive to Clark Street on Wednesday afternoon when construction workers discovered a gas leak.

ELKHART — A gas leak in downtown Elkhart caused traffic delays when some blocks were shut down on Wednesday afternoon.

The leak occurred about 1 p.m. after construction workers hit a gas line, according to Lt. Martin Dyer with the Elkhart Fire Department.

He said the incident happened either at the construction of the Aquatics Center or the streetscape improvements at East Jackson Boulevard.

“Whether or not it was marked or not marked, no idea. I assume, with all the construction they have down here, everything was marked and they may have missed it,” Dyer said.

About 2 p.m. firefighters were checking the amount of gas in the area and if everyone was at a proper distance from the leak until it could be fixed by the gas company. 

Firefigthers blocked off East Jackson Boulevard from Clark Street to Waterfall Drive, including the bridge over the Elkhart River, forcing drivers to the bridge at South Elkhart Avenue to cross.

Dyer said at 2 p.m. that the department would be ready to evacuate if need be, but that there was no reason to be nervous.

“The wind’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing. It’s a very small leak. As soon as they realized that they hit it, they stopped,” he said. “All of are levels as far as natural gas around this area are all reading zero, so it’s deluded down or dissipated to the point where there is no immediate danger.”

Lt. Travis Snider with the Elkhart Police Department said that the leak was fixed about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Follow Rasmus S. Jorgensen on Twitter @ReadRasmus

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