NIPSCO is starting construction Tuesday to perform routine maintenance work near the intersection of Colorado Street and U.S. 30 in Hobart.

The company says this work is part of the company’s overall plan to enhance, modernize and upgrade the natural gas system in the NIPSCO service territory to ensure customers continue to receive a safe and reliable source of energy for future years.

To ensure the safety of local residents and onsite crews, maintenance work is being performed from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on a portion of U.S. 30, specifically the east and westbound lanes turning onto South Colorado Street, are closed. Southbound traffic on Colorado Street are also restricted. The traffic restrictions are expected to last no more than one day. Road closure signage will be posted ahead of time. They ask drivers to exercise extra caution when traveling near marked construction zones. NIPSCO says to be sure to slow down and follow the direction of on-site crew members and posted signs including detour routes.

Customers are not expected to experience any interruptions to their existing natural gas service as a result of this work.

NIPSCO says it will continue to work with local Merrillville officials to minimize community impact throughout the duration of the project.

For safety, NIPSCO encourages anyone who may detect natural gas odors, regardless of whether or not they suspect it’s related to this project, to call 1-800-4-NIPSCO (1-800-464-7726). A service technician will be sent to ensure the safety of the area.

Since natural gas is colorless and odorless, NIPSCO adds a harmless, non-toxic chemical that makes it easier to detect a gas leak before it can create a hazardous situation. The chemical, called mercaptan, smells a lot like rotten eggs.

NIPSCO says if you detect natural gas, remember to “stop, leave, call”:

“•Stop what you’re doing: Don’t smoke or light a match. Don’t open the windows. Don’t use anything that could cause a spark, like a phone, light switch, appliance or flashlight. Don’t start your car or use your garage door to leave.
•Leave the area: If you’re inside, get out immediately. If you’re outside, leave the area quickly.
Call us and 911: From a safe location, away from the building, call 911 and our emergency number at 1-800-634-3524 and wait for crews to arrive.”

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