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Redmond sewer contractor cuts natural gas line; Hwy. 126 reopens


(Update: Hwy. 126 reopens after repairs)

A contractor working on a city of Redmond sewer replacement project struck and cut a natural gas line in southeast Redmond Thursday morning, closing nearby Highway 126 as a precaution during repairs that took several hours.

The line was cut around 10 a.m. in the area of Southeast Evergreen Avenue (Highway 126) and Franklin Avenue, east of Highway 97.

Cascade Natural Gas spokeswoman Laura Lueder said the incident happened on a road already closed for the project. A responding fire battalion chief decided to close the nearby highway as a precautionary measure, she said.

Highway 126 was closed between Highway 97 on the west and Lake Road on the east.

‘We expect repairs to be complete around 4 p.m.,” Lueder said. The road was open again by 4:30 p.m., according to ODOT TripCheck.

Lueder also noted the contractor had called 811 before digging, as required, and that the line was accurately mapped.

A Redmond city engineer, Steve Wilson, identified the contractor as Bend-based JAL Construction. He said CNG was capping the line at Evergreen so repairs could be made, requiring the road to be shut down for several hours.

JAL Project Manager Mike Levesque said, “We’re still doing an investigation into what happened and why it happened, so we can correct it so it doesn’t happen again.”

Levesque said there are two gas mains in that street and that mapping of utilities for the location of lines is “within reason,” but doesn’t provide their depth.

He also said BNSF was slowing, but not stopping, train traffic in the area.

ODOT TripCheck urged drivers to take alternate routes during the closure.

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