MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Interstate 94 was closed in both directions, including the Lowry Tunnel, after a construction crew hit a 16-inch natural gas line in the area of Lyndale Avenue S. and Vineland Place, near the Walker Art Center. The gas leak was reported to the Minneapolis Fire Department at about 11 a.m. Thursday.
By 1:45 p.m., I-94 was reopened to traffic. By 2:30 p.m., the Lowry Tunnel reopened. Fire crews received initial natural gas readings of 25 percent LEL (Lower Explosive Limit) in the Lowry Tunnel on Interstate 94, but readings taken 15 minutes later yielded results ranging from 40 to 90 percent LEL.
Homes, businesses, Walker evacuated
The Walker Art Center, the pedestrian bridge crossing Interstate 94, and surrounding businesses was evacuated as a precautionary measure. Crews monitored the Walker Art Center and surrounding area but received zero readings.
Walker Art Center statement
Today the Walker Art Center was alerted to a city gas leak due to Lyndale/Hennepin construction. The building and parking ramp were evacuated as advised by the Minneapolis Fire Department and the building will be closed to the public until 5 p.m., when the galleries will reopen and the evening's programs will run as scheduled.
Emergency crews are on scene, we will provide updates as we get more information.
Natural gas leak closes I-94 in both directions near Lowry Tunnel. EB closed at I-394, WB lanes at 35E. Traffic being rerouted.— MN State Patrol (@MnDPS_MSP) August 18, 2016
UPDATE: Gas leak has been shut. Crews waiting for vapor cloud to dissipate. Expect roads open by rush hour.— Ted Haller (@TedHallerFox9) August 18, 2016
Evacuations still in effect while vapor cloud dissipates. I can smell gas at Lyndale & Dunwoody.— Ted Haller (@TedHallerFox9) August 18, 2016