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Md. 63 at I-70 interchange closed following gas line rupture

July 30, 2013|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Columbia Gas workers, in blue jumpsuits, work Tuesday to turn off gas leaking from an underground pipe at Md. 63 near the Interstate 70 overpass.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT — A ruptured gas line snarled traffic for close to four hours Tuesday on a small section of Md. 63 near the Interstate 70 overpass.

 Columbia Gas spokesman Russell Bedell said the workers damaged a 4-inch plastic gas line while working on a construction project west of Hagerstown.

 He said Columbia Gas turned off service to that area while the repairs were made. The incident, which was reported shortly after 10 a.m., left about 180 customers without gas, he said.

 Those who were without service had to have their gas relit by company workers after the incident, according to a news release from Columbia Gas.

 Although traffic flowed in the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-70, Md. 63 under the highway overpass was closed for almost four hours.

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 The exit and entrance ramps were closed for most of the operation, but as the day progressed, traffic was being allowed to exit onto Md. 63 from the westbound lanes of I-70.

 Heather Keels, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Highway Administration, said traffic was restored to normal flow at about 2 p.m.

 The construction project involves replacing the I-70 bridges that run over Md. 63, according to information provided by the SHA.

 The 50-year-old bridges are being replaced to prevent safety problems and high maintenance costs, the SHA said.

 The bridges will remain open during the project, with traffic lanes shifted to the outer sides of the bridges as crews construct the inner portions. When the inner area is completed, work will shift to the outer sections, the SHA said.

 The project is expected to cost about $14 million and take two years to complete, the SHA said.


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