Gas leak at Cole and Emerald stopped

March 13, 2014 

A gas leak near the intersection of Coal and Emerald resulted in traffic being diverted on Thursday afternoon.

DARIN OSWALD — doswald@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

Update: The gas leak near the intersection of Cole Road and Emerald Street has been stopped, but crews are still working to repair the gas line that a construction crew ruptured about 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Intermountain Gas spokesman Byron Defenbach said.

An estimated 35 to 40 businesses and residences along Cole, roughly between Franklin and Fairview, had their gas service interrupted by the accident, and it was expected to take until late Thursday night to restore that service, Defenbach said. Two businesses close to the rupture point were evacuated as a precaution, but the evacuation was ended around 7 p.m.

The Ada County Highway District was expected to work into the early morning hours to repair the asphalt that was damaged due to gas line repair, Boise police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said.

ACHD officials told police they expect one lane of Cole Road at Denton in each direction to be reopened in time for the morning commute, Hightower said.

Restoring customers' service along the affected area is a labor-intensive matter, Defenbach said. Intermountain Gas personnel are going to each of those customers to lock down their gas meters before bleeding the air from the underground gas lines. Once that air has been released, workers will go to each home or business to turn the gas back on, re-light their appliances and make sure they're working properly. Some customers may not be visited until around midnight he said. If no one is at home or in the business, Intermountain gas will leave an informational hanger on the door and come back to restore service later, he said.

Gas getting into the sewer lines along Cole Road caused concern early in the evening, Defenbach said, but that problem was resolved.

The gas leak hindered traffic throughout rush hour and into the evening. Cole was closed between Denton Street and Fairview Avenue for several hours, and Emerald was closed between Rifleman and Allumbaugh streets.

After the leak was resolved, lanes began reopening, Boise Police Department spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said at 7:45 p.m., but Cole south of Emerald will likely remain closed until after midnight.

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