The contractor working on the reconstruction of New Hempstead Road through New City hit a gas main Tuesday morning near Louis Road across from Buena Vista Road. The Montesano Brothers crew was working on replacing storm drains when the gas line was cut.
Hudson Valley Engineering Project Manager John Balison, who is a member of the project’s inspection team, said the small gas line was placed shallower in the street than expected. He said the crew hit the small gas main, which runs off the larger main located in the center of New Hempstead Road. He said the small gas main was placed 18 inches into the ground instead of the standard 24 inches deep.
O&R Spokesman Mike Donovan said the excavator missed the mark and caused the break of the two-inch pipe. The incident occurred around 9:50 a.m. and it took about two hours to seal off the broken pipe. O&R, police and fire crews responded and a section of New Hempstead Road was completely closed to traffic. After several hours the westbound lane was reopened.
“So now they have to dig up the eastbound lane of New Hempstead Road to replace the pipe that was broken,” said Balison, anticipating that the repairs would keep one lane closed for several hours through the afternoon.
Donovan said, “There were no customers affected by this.”
Balison said the homes on Louis Road were served by two gas lines and the utility was able to back-feed service to most of them from the second line.
The reconstruction of New Hempstead Road from North Main Street to the intersection with the Palisades Interstate Parkway has a target completion date of September 30 of this year.