Gas main rupture again closes 82nd Avenue

Little has been revealed how a second natural gas main break happened, just blocks away from the first …

In the Montavilla neighborhood, 82nd Avenue of Roses is again closed to traffic when a natural gas main is shattered by construction workers at SE Yamhill Street.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For the second time in less than a month, 82nd Avenue of Roses was shut down after Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) contractors ruptured a NW Natural gas main.

Called the 82nd Avenue Burnside to Division Intersection Safety Improvement Project, highway workers have been working in intersections from E Burnside Street to SE Yamhill Street for several weeks.

Portland Fire & Rescue crews stand by, with pressurized water lines ready, as a highway worker cracks open the pavement to access the gas leak in the Montavilla neighborhood at 82nd Avenue of Roses and SE Yamhill Street.

About 11:00 a.m. on April 18, traffic was again diverted off Oregon Highway 213 (more commonly known as SE 82nd Avenue of Roses) – this time at SE Yamhill Street, just three blocks south of the March 23 accident.

Four Portland Fire & Rescue units were standing by, with water lines pressurized in case of an explosion or flare-up, as work crews jackhammered open the pavement in search of a natural gas shut-off valve.

NW Natural workers put “sniffer” probes into an opening to detect the location and extent of the natural gas leaking from the ruptured main.

Workers scramble in, carefully, to stop the natural gas leak.

Unlike the previous incident, the flow of gas was cut off before 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon, allowing two-lane traffic to resume on the busy thoroughfare before commute hours. The two outside lanes were closed for another day while further repairs were made.

“ODOT is working with NW Natural to determine how this came about, and how it can be prevented,” said ODOT Regional spokesperson Don Hamilton.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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