UPDATED: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 at 5:05 p.m.
Nicor officials have told Brookfield police that they now hope to cap the high-pressure gas line that’s still spewing natural gas into the air at 31st Street ann Golfview Avenue by 7 p.m. However, repairs may not be completed until midnight, police now say.
UPDATED: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 at 3:02 p.m.
Brookfield police are reporting that gas is still flowing from a main that was struck by a construction crew Friday morning and that Nicor repair crews are having a difficult time capping the leak.
“It’s just spewing up into the air,” said Brookfield Police Lt. Edward Petrak. “You can hear it rumbling up and actually see the gas flowing up out of the ground.”
According to Petrak, the drill used by the construction crew is still embedded in the gas main. Nicor is now digging very carefully about 1,000 feet west of the break, said Petrak, trying to cap the line.
At this time, Nicor has no estimated time for repairs to be completed.
A report generated by J.U.L.I.E. earlier Friday indicated that the electric contractor working in the area claimed the gas line had been mismarked. Photos from the scene show the marked gas line in close proximity to where the electrical contractor’s crew was working.
UPDATED: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 at 12:46 p.m.
Both 31st Street between Prairie Avenue and First Avenue as well as Golfview Avenue remain closed to traffic due to a gas main break. According to Brookfield police, Nicor has estimated that repairs may be finished by 5 p.m.
Brookfield Zoo remains open. However, the north parking lot remains inaccessible and the south lot is full. No more vehicles are being allowed to enter the zoo. Brookfield Zoo is, however, still admitting visitors who walk up to the South Gate.
According to a Brookfield Zoo spokeswoman, staff are making accommodations to visitors who parked in the north lot before the roadway was shut down. Employees of Cantata Adult Health Services are also being allowed to exit that facility westbound on 31st Street, according to Brookfield police.
A construction crew working near the North Gate of the Brookfield Zoo struck a 4-inch high-pressure natural gas main Friday morning, shutting down traffic on 31st Street in both directions from Prairie Avenue to First Avenue. In addition, Golfview Avenue has been shut down at First Avenue and all zoo traffic is being directed to the South Gate. The pedestrian tunnel connecting the zoo and the zoo’s north parking lot has also been closed.
The incident was reported by a Lyons-Pinner Electric employee whose company was doing electrical work near the intersection of 31st Street and Golfview Road, which has been under construction all summer. The gas line reportedly had been mismarked prior to the electrical work being done.
According to police, the incident occurred at about 9:30 a.m. Nicor crews are on the scene, but police are not sure when the repairs will be completed or when the street will be reopened to traffic.
Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside police are assisting to redirect traffic in the area.
In addition, Riverside police also presently are handling a three-car accident with injuries at the intersection of 31st Street and First Avenue.
Please return for updates as they are available.