PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It looks as if it is going to be a while longer before crews can make the necessary repairs to Fort Pitt Boulevard, which was damaged by Thursday’s water main break.

What began as a 12-inch water main break, evolved into other utility issues. An odor of gas still lingers in the air.

Equitable Gas crews excavated Fort Pitt Boulevard throughout the night and into the morning hoping to find the source.

“We’ve started our own excavations to determine where that gas odor may be coming from. It’s very careful work. We have a lot of underground utilities that we have to dig around as well,” Scott Waitlevertch from Equitable Gas said.

It has been a time-consuming process with both Pittsburgh Water and Sewer and Equitable Gas working together in a deep hole. At times, they have been digging by hand.

Once they determined the 20-inch gas line sitting above the broken water main was safe, Equitable Gas had to move to another area and start digging.

“We will continue to work this issue until we find either what the root cause is or we find that there is no more gas odor or any readings of natural gas anyplace,” Waitlevertch said.

With the hole in Fort Pitt Boulevard grew throughout the morning, traffic was detoured for a second day and businesses had to work around the gorge.

“As long as they keep the First Avenue, our back entrance open, we’ll be able to service customers,” Tom Smyers said.

Equitable Gas crews have moved up Fort Pitt Boulevard, and the odor of natural gas has become stronger, so they may be closer to pinpointing the source.

As a result of the ongoing repairs, Fort Pitt Boulevard, Wood Street and First Avenue will remain closed during the Friday evening rush hour.


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