6:15 p.m.: National Road reopens and Columbus Fire Department has left the scene. Traffic is reported to be back to normal by Columbus Police officers, who are monitoring the area.
6:10 p.m.: Columbus Police prepare to open lanes in front of the Kroger building site on National Road.
5:20 p.m. Tuesday: Vectren Energy workers continue to work to stop a gas leak at the new Kroger building site on National Road, Columbus firefighters said.
National Road between Central Avenue and Middle Road is closed because of a leak in a 6-inch gas line on the north side of the parking lot outside the new Kroger building site, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman. The leak was originally reported as a 12-inch line at about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, but firefighters have since learned that it is a smaller line with about 54 pounds of pressure per square inch. Heavy machinery hit the gas line and Vectren workers are at the scene fixing it, Wilson said.
Columbus Police are advising motorists to avoid the area around the Kroger building site on National Road from Central Avenue to 25th Street as traffic backups are already occurring there. Police have the area barricaded and motorists cannot travel through the area on National Road.
Police have evacuated businesses near the site, including Fazoli’s, Sunbelt Rentals, Nichols Body Shop and Top Dog Car Wash. Nearby businesses are being advised to open their doors to make sure that natural gas does not build up inside their buildings.
Four customers in the area do not have gas service as a result of the leak, Wilson said.
An Everbridge notice has been sent to homeowners in the area advising them of the gas leak, Wilson said.
Wilson said there is no immediate danger to nearby homes or businesses and the fire department continues to stand by as repairs are completed.