Columbia Gas crews have repaired a natural gas line that was ruptured earlier today by a construction crew, shutting down the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge for the evening rush hour and ruining dinner plans for patrons at The Docks restaurant complex in East Toledo.
The 4-inch, main pressure line outside the Toledo Sports Arena on Main Street was repaired shortly after 9 p.m., said Columbia Gas spokesman Chris Kozak.
The break in the line left all restaurants in The Docks complex, the Sports Arena, and Brenner Marine in East Toledo without gas service since 6:30 p.m., Kozak said.
Service to those businesses was to be restored tonight and they should be able to open as scheduled tomorrow, Mr. Kozak said.
The break occurred shortly before 5 p.m. when the gas line was struck by a construction crew rebuilding the sidewalks and Main Street approach to the King Bridge from Front Street, Kozak said.
The rupture forced the shutdown of the bridge to traffic at the height of the evening rush hour. The bridge was reopened shortly after 7 p.m. after the line was shut down, but the loss of natural gas during the repairs meant the restaurants at The Docks the Navy Bistro, Tangos Mexican Cantina, Zia s Italian Restaurant, Gumbos, and Real Seafood were forced to close early.
Everything is gas; you don t use electricity so much, Navy Bistro owner Tom Cousino said of the kitchens. It s disheartening to have a room full of reservations and people walking in your restaurant and you have to turn them away.
He said the staff redirected people with reservations to Cousino s Steakhouse in Oregon, which he also owns, in an effort to accommodate them.
Gumbos manager Shawn Tegtmeyer kept the bar open for people who came in for reservations about the time that the gas service was shut off, but said he felt bad that he could only offer them drinks and cold food.
Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com