Utility mishaps temporarily halt several downtown businesses

A couple of unlucky utility accidents caused temporary disruptions and closures for several downtown Bellingham businesses early this week.

Construction crews replacing a water main in the area of Magnolia and State streets struck a natural gas line on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 6. Emergency crews from the Bellingham Fire Department, the City of Bellingham Public Works and Cascade Natural Gas responded after reports of gas odor in the surrounding area, which was blocked off to local residents for several hours as repairs commenced.

City officials said yesterday that while a gas odor might linger through the afternoon, they did not anticipate any hazard to the community.

Several businesses on the block were told to temporarily evacuate while repairs were completed.

The water main replacement near the intersection of Magnolia and State streets will continue for several weeks. Drivers should expect single-lane closures and short delays with flaggers directing traffic on both sides of the street.

One day earlier, a city sewer main behind Railroad Avenue burst, forcing the temporary closure of Mallard Ice Cream, which is located at 1323 Railroad Ave.

Mallard’s downtown location remained closed Tuesday and Wednesday. However, the company’s new ice cream stand at the Community Food Co-op on 315 Westerly Road is open.

Mallard will likely remain closed as repairs continue. Updates can be found on the company’s Facebook page.

Evan Marczynski, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com

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