As major construction on the interchange of U.S. Route 23 and Interstate 270 nears completion, a broken gas line hindered progress Monday, March 21, closing the road for nearly four hours during the morning commute.

As major construction on the interchange of U.S. Route 23 and Interstate 270 nears completion, a broken gas line hindered progress Monday, March 21, closing the road for nearly four hours during the morning commute.

According to Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nancy Burton, crews struck a two-inch Columbia Gas of Ohio line around 8:15 a.m., immediately requiring a road closure.

Burton said Columbia Gas officials initially estimated the problem could take four to eight hours to fix, but Route 23 was completely open to traffic before noon.

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.

But in a statement Monday afternoon, Columbia Gas claimed it was "too early to speculate or pinpoint the exact cause of today's incident."

Columbia Gas spokeswoman Kelli Nowinsky confirmed she could not comment on ODOT's assessment that Columbia Gas officials made a mistake.

"It's going to take some time," she said.

Burton said the incident will have no effect on the timeline for completing the road work, which is expected to wrap up in May.

Crews have limited Route 23 to two lanes between Wilson Bridge Road and the I-270 bridge to rebuild pavement on the bridge. That work is expected to be completed by April 15.

Both lanes of the northbound trench will be closed at some point between 8 p.m. and midnight for overhead sign work.

West Campus View Boulevard will also be reduced to one lane in each direction at Route 23 while crews rebuild the intersection. Work at the intersection is expected to be completed by April 29.

Northwoods Boulevard South is still closed at Route 23 while crews rebuild the intersection. ODOT estimates a June 17 completion for that project.

@ThisWeekAndrew