A road construction crew hit a natural gas line, and the leak Wednesday morning shut down the main road through Maple Plain in western Hennepin County for a couple of hours and forced the evacuation of several buildings, authorities and a utility official said.

The leak was reported to authorities about 10:50 a.m. on Wayzata Blvd. (Hwy. 12) near Boundary Avenue in the small city’s main business district, according to West Hennepin Public Safety.

By early afternoon, the leak was contained before anyone was harmed, the evacuation canceled and the highway reopened, according to CenterPoint Energy. Utility crew members will remain on the scene through the afternoon to wrap up repairs.

The construction crew was from a private contractor hired by the city to rebuild Boundary Avenue, said West Hennepin Sgt. Gary Kroells.

Among the four or five buildings evacuated was Collision Corner, where owner Kurt Kroll said he wasn't happy to lose nearly two hours of business.

"I'm a business that needs to get rolling," Kroll said after calling in his dozen staff members to return to work. "We have a pile of cars out there that need fixing."

No one was harmed from the gas leak, which occurred when a private contractor cut the underground line during excavation, said CenterPoint spokeswoman Becca Virden.

The highway closing was necessary to prevent passing vehicles from creating a spark that could ignite the escaped gas, Virden said.

pwalsh@startribune.com • 612-673-4482

kelly.smith@startribune.com • 612-673-4141