HOPEWELL — A key section of Route 31 will remain closed for the Tuesday afternoon commute.

The break was first detected in the southbound lanes of Route 31 around 6 a.m.. Crews from Elizabethtown Gas were called to the scene, closing the road between Route 295 and the Pennnington Circle, according to Hopewell Police spokesman Lt. William Springer.

Route 31 carries traffic between Mercer County north to Routs 202 and 78 in Hunterdon County.

The leak was traced to a storm sewer opposite Crest Road, and about 30 homes were evacuated while each home was inspected, Elizabethtown Gas spokeswoman Casey Shea said. Residents are able to return to their homes.

Shea said crews were inserting a replacement line through the existing line, which would complete the repair and reduce the construction impact on the road.

Springer said that the suggested northbound detour is to take Route 295 south to Scotch Road at exit 3 and taking it north to Route 546.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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