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Southwest Gas

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Villages residents near 43849 W. Kramer Lane were evacuated from the area due to a natural gas leak Tuesday about 6 p.m.

“The fire department notified us that it was an odor complaint and our crews responded quickly,” said Amy Washburn, spokesperson for Southwest Gas. “We were able to find that one of our service lines had been pulled away from one of our main lines, creating a gas leak. We are still investigating the exact cause of it.”

Washburn said investigators suspect the lines were separated by tree roots.

“Evacuations have been lifted. The gas is off,” she said. “We are continuing to get gas out from underground, which is very common in a situation like this. Because the ground is so saturated right now from the recent rain, it makes it a little more difficult to get that gas out. Crews will continue to work until we reach the safest levels we can.”

Washburn did not have an estimate when gas service would be turned back on in the area.

“It shouldn’t be too much longer,” she said.

 

A utility company is being blamed for the traffic tie-ups in Maricopa this week.

While Arizona Department of Transportation has been working nights around the intersection of State Route 347 and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway in preparation for the overpass, some daytime work has caused a logjam for northbound drivers.

Southwest Gas is relocating a gas line in the area, also in preparation for the overpass.

“They received a permit for the work but did not have an approved traffic control plan,” ADOT spokesman Tom Herrmann said. “The city stopped the work until a traffic control plan is approved and the city has a chance to communicate that to the community.”

Northbound SR 347 was narrowed to one lane, though both southbound lanes were open. Even with a new traffic plan, Hermann said there will still likely be traffic issues during the day.

The ongoing closure of Farrell Road at Porter Road further exacerbated the problem, lengthening the alternate routes by several miles.

Mayor Christian Price stated in Facebook postings said the city had “all over” ADOT and SWG, “but again our power is pretty limited when it’s just in their hands and we’re not updated.”

When traffic is congested at SR 347 and MCG Highway and eastbound Farrell is closed, the long alternatives for northbound traffic are to drive south to Peters and Nall Road, east to White and Parker Road, and north to MCG Highway, or to drive west on Farrell Road to Ralston Road, north to State Route 238 and east to John Wayne Parkway.