A gas leak just east of the University of Minnesota resulted in evacuations and a transportation shutdown for about four hours Monday afternoon.
The leak happened when a bulldozer ruptured a natural gas line about 3 p.m. Light rail service in the area was halted; buildings and homes were evacuated, and people were warned not to drive, walk or bicycle in the area. Buildings were cleared, streets reopened and light rail service resumed shortly after 7 p.m.
The 12-inch main line serves a large stretch of businesses and residential buildings, including part of downtown Minneapolis, but no one except the Surly Brewing Co. lost gas service, said CenterPoint spokeswoman Rebecca Virden.
The break at 4th Street and 27th Avenue SE. happened when the bulldozer owned by VEIT & Co. hit the line. The company did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The Minneapolis Fire Department said CenterPoint Energy was able to shut off the gas shortly before 6:30 p.m. with the leak "mitigated."
Metro Transit used buses to replace Green Line trains between the Raymond and West Bank stations for several hours because of the leak.
Many homes and businesses, including an Asian restaurant, the Post Office on University Avenue, Teamsters offices and workers at a construction site had to be evacuated. No campus buildings were been evacuated, said U spokesman Steve Henneberry.
Virden said access to cars stranded in a parking garage just off 29th Avenue SE., behind the Post Office on University Avenue was expected soon.
Another gas leak occurred in roughly the same area around the lunch hour on July 14, Virden said. That gas line break was caused by workers from Xcel Energy and wasn't nearly as serious as this one, she said.
"That was a smaller line so that got taken care of very very quickly," she said.
The leak comes less than a week after a natural gas leak caused an explosion at Minnehaha Academy that killed two people and injured nine. Federal authorities are investigating the cause.