U.S. 29 shut down after crews strike gas line

LAWRENCEVILLE - A gas leak shut down U.S. Highway 29 in Lawrenceville on Thursday afternoon, backing up traffic during a heavy rush hour commute.

Firefighters evacuated 25 people in a local business, while police diverted traffic, according to Thomas Rutledge, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Fire Department. It closed down U.S. 29 from Clearwater Place to Oakland Road in Lawrenceville.

A construction crew struck the 2-inch gas line while digging in with a trackhoe. The leak was under control about an hour after firefighters were dispatched at 4:18 p.m. By 5:30 p.m., they were able to re-open the road to traffic.

"You never know with a gas leak. it can be several hours or it can be within the hour," Rutledge said. "I think today's incident ended fairly quickly. Highway 29 is a major roadway and it was almost rush hour, so they were working quickly to control the leak."

This is the fourth gas leak to shut down traffic on a busy roadway in the past two weeks. Two of the incidents were at Pleasant Hill Road and Buford Highway, and another one shut down Jimmy Carter Boulevard for almost five hours. The other leaks were also caused by crews accidentally hitting gas lines. No injuries were reported.