Gas line break slows traffic

A gas leak while replacing phone lines caused traffic issues on U.S. 31 July 4. (Photo provided by John Barrett)

Westfield firefighters fought the hot weather during a four-hour gas main break at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Greyhound Pass on July 4. WFD Spokesman John Barrett said Vectren was able to get the leak stopped at 8:30 p.m., allowing police to reopen all roads in the area.

“Initially, contractors working to replace phone lines for the U.S. 31 project hit the gas main at approximately 5 p.m. and then called 911,” said Barrett. “Firefighters arrived shortly after and found a two-inch gas main spewing into the air. They then shut down northbound U.S. 31 traffic and began monitoring air quality – including the shopping mall in the area.”

After clearing a safe zone, the fire department began allowing one lane of traffic north, but the eastbound and westbound traffic remained closed. Firefighters suited up and protected Vectren workers during the entire incident.

“While the hot weather was draining, firefighters stayed well hydrated and rotated in shifts,” Barrett explained. “There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.”

Vectren crews stayed at the site fixing the pipe throughout the evening so there was no interruption of gas service. Barrett said the fire department shut down access to the Chase Bank ATM during the incident, but the branch was closed because of the holiday. No businesses were evacuated.