US 23 north of I-270 now open after gas leak

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – US 23 was closed at Flint Road in North Columbus for more than three hours this morning due to a gas leak.

The leak was reported just after 8am Monday at the intersection just north of I-270, when contractors working on the Northside Fix say they dug into a gas line.

Both directions of US 23 were closed in the area of the leak, but officials say the incident should never have happened.

ODOT District 6 spokesperson Nancy Burton said Columbia Gas assured workers the gas lines were eight to 10 feet deep. However, workers struck the 2-inch line after just digging three to four feet deep.

“I go outside and I immediately smell gas, so I did a u turn right back to my apartment. That’s when I heard it was a gas leak,” said Veronica Montgomery. She lives next door to the accident.

All lanes were opened to traffic around 11:45am.

Columbia Gas says they are still investigating, but aren’t sure what went wrong.

US 23 handles between 120,000 to 150,000 vehicles a day.

“In the mornings it can be pretty backed up. Usually only thing takes 20 minutes to get to work, sometimes an hour,” said Amanda Vaughn. She lives at High Street and Radio City Boulevard, just across from the leak.

The part of the construction project where the gas leak happened was started in September of 2013 and is expected to be done this fall.

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