PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

May 8, 2013

Gas leak temporarily halts Nederland construction

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

NEDERLAND — Construction of a parking lot for Nederland’s new city hall was temporarily put on hold after a contract worker ruptured a gas line Tuesday morning.

Ryan Morgan, project manager with Bruces General Construction, said an excavator working the site snagged an old gas tap thus leading to the line rupture at about 9:24 a.m. near 12th and Atlanta.

Streets around the vicinity were closed while crews worked on the line and Nederland Fire Department was on the scene as a precaution.

The sulfur-like smell associated with natural gas rose through the air and was actually visible when combined with water and dirt from the excavation site. Nederland Fire Chief Gary Collins said those in the immediate area were notified of the leak.

“There is no danger to anyone,” Collins said at the scene. “There is a strong wind and natural gas rises. The fire department is here as a precaution.”

Lori Moreno, manager of communications for Texas Gas Service, said a 2-inch line was affected. It was originally thought that the line was 4-inches in diameter. The line was repaired about 10:50 a.m.

Steve Hamilton, director of public works, said he does not expect a delay in construction of the building.

Crews were working on a parking lot for the new city hall, to be located at 207 N. 12th St., when the incident occurred. Morgan agreed with Hamilton’s statement.

“This won’t stop our work schedule,” Morgan said. “We were delayed about an hour-and-a-half but as soon as this (equipment) is moved we’ll be back at work.”

City hall is scheduled to be completed no later than fall 2013 with a second, related project — the public safety complex renovation project, to commence immediately thereafter and be completed no later than winter 2014.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: @MaryMeauxPANews