UPDATED 6:10 p.m.
URBANA — It could be a few hours before a gas line break on University Avenue just west of Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana gets repaired.
Urbana Fire Chief Mike Dilley said about 10:50 a.m. Tuesday a crew working on the UC2B project hit a 1 1/2-inch gas line at University and Busey avenues.
Officials shut down University Avenue between Coler and Lincoln avenues and Clark Street to the south between Coler and Lincoln avenues to through traffic.
Dilley said the east lanes of University Avenue re-opened at 6:10 p.m. The west lanes remained closed.
"We have a large fan situated over a large manhole at Clark and Busey to vent the gas," said Dilley.
Dilley said as of 1 p.m., Ameren officials informed him they would likely have to dig up a portion of Lincoln Avenue to get to the line, install a shutoff valve and then shut it off.
Dilley said the natural gas got into both the sanitary sewers and the storm sewers in the area, creating the potential for further problems if either sewer would ignite.
He anticipated traffic in the west lanes would be diverted a few more hours.
The Subway restaurant at 802 W. University Ave. was evacuated as a precaution and remains closed, Dilley said. A couple of other non-patient Carle offices were also evacuated briefly but employees have been allowed to return.