Streets reopen after steaming manholes repaired in downtown Indianapolis

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UPDATE:  Water service has been restored and downtown streets reopened after repairs were made to a broken water main involved in a major steam release from manholes.

UPDATE:  INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 30, 2015)–Crews have completed repairs on a broken water main involved in a major steam release on streets in the downtown area.

Streets continue to be blocked near West Ohio Street and North Illinois Street.

Water and air conditioning have yet to be restored for the Sheraton Hotel located on West Ohio Street.


(August 30, 2015) – Officials are investigating a manhole problem in downtown Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Fire Department was called near the intersection of West Ohio Street and North Illinois Street around 10:45 a.m. on a report of an explosion.

When they arrived they discovered several manholes were releasing an excessive amount of steam.

According to an Indianapolis Power and Light spokeswoman, a water line broke underground and that caused steam to be released.

Citizens Energy will be investigating the incident.

IFD says no one was injured and evacuations of the area will not be necessary.

These particular manholes had new covers that don’t completely disengage from the road. According to IFD, when pressure builds underneath the manhole, the cover opens to release the pressure, but it doesn’t fly off. The city of Indianapolis asked IPL and Citizen’s Energy to install the new covers after several manhole incidents in March earlier this year.

A large portion of downtown around Monument Circle is blocked off while officials continue to work. IFD is asking everyone to avoid the area between Capitol Avenue and Pennsylvania Street.

Ohio Street will be blocked between Meridian Street and Illinois Street for several hours.

Citizens Energy released this statement:

Citizens Energy Group is responding to a water main break downtown on Ohio Street from Meridian Street to Illinois Street. Water from the main leaked onto one of Citizens’ steam lines which caused steam to rise up from various manholes along Ohio Street. The area has been blocked off so Citizens’ crews can repair the water main. The cause of water main break is likely due to aging infrastructure as the main was installed in 1904.

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