Underground explosions Wednesday morning led to several road closures in downtown Toledo, according to police. Cherry Street, the Marting Luther King Bridge, and Summit Street at Cherry Street were closed for most of the day.
By 4:45 p.m., police announced the intersection and bridge reopened, but said workers making repairs had some lane restrictions in place.
Representatives for Toledo Edison say there was a power surge on Edison's secondary system, resulting in an underground fire. The heat caused several manhole covers to blow off, shooting flames into the air, one at least 20 feet high.
Crews are assessing the damage, and they are not sure how long it will take to make repairs. They will have to ventilate the manholes before they can enter and do the repair work.
At the Docks, the manager of Forrester's On The River says the bridge closure took a bite out of their Wednesday lunch business.
"With the bridge closure hopefully it's only for one day. There were quite a few parties we had scheduled that said they couldn't get across so they stayed over there, definitely did take a hit for us today," says Jonathan McQueary.
This isn't the first time such an underground fire has occurred in the downtown area, and Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken says while he understands the underground electrical cables share space with other utilities such as water and sewer, he has concerns about how well the underground downtown electrical network us being maintained.
"What's the fix?" he asked. "Obviously there's got to be some way to weatherize these utility cabinets so the methane and water doesn't affect them."
Drivers looking for alternative ways through downtown Toledo can take the following routes:
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730 North Summit Street