Metro-East News

July 24, 2014

I-255 closed because of downed power lines

Interstate 255 has been reopened after a construction worker downed three live power lines across the highway, shutting down traffic for more than an hour.

Ameren spokesman Brian Bretsch said the worker was using a track hoe at about 11:30 a.m. to dig a trench on the west side of the interstate near its intersection with Interstate 64 when he accidentally pulled down all three lines.

"The lines were live and they fell across the track hoe in addition to the interstate," Bretsch said. "He did the right thing and stayed inside the equipment until the lines could be de-energized and he could safely get out."

Bretsch said he does not believe the track hoe operator was injured in the accident.

Between 80-100 customers were without electricity after the accident, about 20 of them in Caseyville and the rest in Washington park, Bretsch said.

By 1 p.m. electricity was restored to about three-quarters of the people who lost power.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at swuerz@bnd.com or call 239-2626.

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