U.S. Route 23 was closed to all traffic just north of Interstate 270 on Monday morning, March 21, after a reported broken gas line.

U.S. Route 23 was closed to all traffic just north of Interstate 270 on Monday morning, March 21, after a reported broken gas line.

According to Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nancy Burton, crews struck a 2-inch gas line about 8:15 a.m.

Burton said Columbia Gas workers had been in the area for three weeks before the accident.

"We had been assured from Columbia Gas that their lines were significantly deeper than where our crews were working," she said, noting that "obviously," the damaged gas line means they were incorrect.

Burton said Columbia and the Columbus Division of Fire were working to fix the problem and assess safety concerns.

Burton said Columbia officials initially estimated that the problem could take four to eight hours to fix.

About 11:30 a.m., ODOT received word that they could reopen two northbound surface lanes on Route 23. Traffic could not yet enter the "trench" that bypasses several intersections heading north.

"We will not open the lanes before they're safe," she said. "This is a fire call, not an ODOT call. All we're doing is working with traffic."

At 11:47 a.m., ODOT received the all-clear to open all directions of traffic.