Excavator strikes gas line Richards Road, causing leak

This gas line was struck by heavy machinery on Richards Road, fracturing it. Courtesy of the City of Bellevue.

During a Bellevue Transportation Department project on Richards Road, construction crews accidentally fractured a gas line, shutting down the road in both directions for more than an hour.

A contractor crew was working to improve three medians on Richards Road as part of a larger project when, at 8:19 a.m., an excavator struck a 2-inch natural gas line under the asphalt, causing a leak. According to the project supervisor on the scene, the pipe was located 12 feet away from where they thought.

The crews immediately contacted Puget Sound Energy and Bellevue fire and police crews responded to the scene within minutes, closing the road between the Lake Hills Connector and Southeast 23rd.

Puget Sound Energy, the owner of the line, patched the line at 9:10 a.m. and deemed it was safe to reopen the one lane in each direction as per the traffic direction plan for the project.

The energy company made a permanent repair to the gas line, backfilled the trench and all four lanes of traffic on Richards Road were open by 2:30 p.m.

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