Gas Leak Closes North St. Bridge
Residents came into downtown Newport this morning to the smell of gas. It took a while but a leak was isolated near the North Street Bridge…US Highway 321 bridge over the Pigeon River. According to the Cocke County Emergency management agency, someone built a fire under the north street bridge. The temperature of that fire got so hot that it melted the PVC pipe housing AT&T phone lines and heated the steel pipe that was housing a gas line to the point it melted the gas line inside that pipe. Gas is shut off to both sides of the bridge until Jefferson Cocke County utilities can make the repair. There is no estimated time of repair to that gas line. Traffic was backed up on the southbound lane of US 321 north of the bridge for some time this morning as that bridge was completely closed down. The North Street bridge was reopened around 8:20 and traffic is again moving normally.
Any customers affected by the damaged gas line or telephone lines should contact their respective utility companies about the outage…do not call 911.