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Tallmadge -- A stretch of North Avenue reopened the morning of Aug. 25 after repairs were made to a natural gas line damaged a day earlier.
City officials urged residents to avoid North Avenue in the area of Bierce Street Aug. 24 following a pipe break. "The gas leak was caused by the contractor that's working on the North Avenue road replacement project," Fire Chief Mike Passarelli said, adding, "They hooked a 6-inch gas line with an excavator -- the main feed gas line that runs up North Avenue."
The fire department was notified at 10:06 a.m., Passarelli said, and crews responded and isolated the area. North Avenue was closed at Garwood Drive and all northbound traffic on North Avenue was routed down Garwood Drive. Traffic was also blocked at Knollwood Avenue and Bierce Street as well as Heritage and Kent drives, according to a post on the city's Facebook page.
"We metered the area with our gas meter," the fire chief said, "to find out if we needed to evacuate anybody. As it turns out, we opted to evacuate just one house as a precaution based on wind direction."
That family was back in their home "a little after 1 p.m.," Passarelli reports.
East Ohio representatives arrived on scene about 10:30 a.m., Passarelli says, and shut off the gas and made the necessary repairs.
The gas line break was an additional challenge for motorists already dealing with detours since the $4.5 million North Avenue reconstruction project got under way in May. The roadway improvements, about .75 miles from Tallmadge Circle to just north of Heritage Drive, will include the installation of a new storm sewer system, as well as new sidewalks, curbs, lighting, signage and roadway surface.
Northbound traffic from Tallmadge Circle is being maintained during construction; however, a southbound detour route sends motorists east on Howe Road to the roundabout and then south on Northeast Avenue to Tallmadge Circle.
Twitter: @ EllinWalsh_RPC