I-805 reopens after gas leak in Chula Vista - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

I-805 reopens after gas leak in Chula Vista

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This Google Maps image shows Interstate 805 in Chula Vista. This Google Maps image shows Interstate 805 in Chula Vista.

CHULA VISTA (CNS/CBS 8) - A gas leak prompted evacuations in a South Bay neighborhood and forced a precautionary closure of a roughly five-mile stretch of Interstate 805 for several hours. The gridlock delayed the start of a Mumford and Sons concert at the Sleeptrain Amphitheater in Chula Vista, and left fans stuck in traffic and frustrated.

A backhoe crew caused the emergency by accidentally rupturing a utility line near the intersection of East Palomar Street and Nacion Avenue in Chula Vista shortly before 2:30 p.m., according to police. No injuries were reported.

Authorities cleared people out of a roughly half-mile radius around the site of the leak and shut down nearby I-805 between state Route 54 in National City and SR-905 in Otay Mesa, CVPD Capt. Gary Wedge said. Traffic was diverted onto surface streets, resulting in heavy congestion, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Concert goers were among the thousands of drivers impacted by a gas leak. Traffic is normally a nightmare in the South Bay when concerts are in town, especially when the show is sold out, the delay was so bad that the concert started 30 minutes late. 

Thierry Gray, general manager of the Sleep Train Amphitheater says they tried to alleviate people's frustrations by pushing the concert start time back.

"It was to start at 7. We've adjusted it to 730 to give them time to get here."

To help alleviate the gridlock, the San Diego Association of Governments allowed motorists to use the South Bay Expressway, a toll road, at no charge while the interstate to the west was closed.

City officials made Loma Verde Recreation Center at East Orange Avenue and Loma Lane available for people displaced by the mishap, Wedge said.

By shortly before 6 p.m., utility crews had halted the gas leak, the freeway was reopened and all evacuated residents had been allowed to return to their homes, police Lt. Scott Arsenault said.


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