22 Aug 2014
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UPDATED: Snow, Manhole Explosion Create Nightmare Traffic

A manhole explosion and streets narrowed by snow contributed to hour-plus delays for motorists on Friday morning.

A manhole explosion in Forest Hills and streets narrowed by snow helped create a traffic nightmare in JP on Friday morning.

Motorists and bus passengers reported significant delays in different parts of JP, from Huntington Avenue to Centre Street, Spring Park Avenue and the Jamaicaway.

One person reported it taking an hour to drive from the Monument to the Curley School. A bus passenger said she was stuck for 90 minutes.

Police say an accident on Huntington, combined with the snow-narrowed roadways, were probably to blame.

On Huntington Avenue, buses had a paper-thin margin to pass each other. A city crew came with a dump truck to remove snow.

The day began with an explosion at Tower and Washington in Forest Hills. Around 6 am, smouldering wires may have ignited sewer gas, lifting a manhole cover off, said NStar spokesman Michael Durand.

The blast left 160 customers without power, Durand said. By 2 pm, all but 10 had power restored.

The Boston Globe reports that traffic signal lights went out in JP and Roslindale because of malfunctioning equipment in manholes.

But the city's Transportation Department said no Forest Hills traffic signal outages were reported to them or showed up on their internal systems.

"As far as we know, the traffic lights never actually went out in the Forest Hills area," said spokesperson Tracey Ganiatsos.

A signal in Roslindale Square did need reprogramming Friday morning. She said confusion over the traffic lights in Forest Hills could have developed because police officers were manually directing traffic.

[Editor's note: Thanks, Twitter friends, for the direct message updates to @JPPatch. Please keep them coming. Also, I originally had the wrong day listed.]

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