A section of outer Congress Street was closed during the evening rush hour Tuesday after authorities received reports of a strong odor of natural gas emanating from street manhole covers.

Outer Congress Street, between Whitney Avenue and Stevens Avenue, was closed for several hours as crews from Unitil investigated the cause of a gas leak. The street, in both directions, reopened late Tuesday.

Lt. Glen McGary said that police shut down the road shortly after 6 p.m. as a precautionary measure. That stretch of Congress Street is home to multiple businesses and is near the Westgate shopping center and the Italian Heritage Center.

Portland police said that Unitil, the city’s natural gas provider, sent a crew to the area and is expected to remain on scene into the early-morning hours Wednesday as they work to fix the gas leak.

Police urged motorists to use caution if they must drive through the area.


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: