INDIANAPOLIS - A portion of 56th Street in the area of a diesel fuel spill will not reopen Monday, as previously announced, and that has business owners concerned about the impact the closure will have on their businesses.
West 56th Street, just east of Guion Road, is the site of the major Marathon Petroleum Corp. diesel fuel spill.
Marathon initially said Sunday that a lane of 56th Street from Arabian Run past the transportation building for Pike Township schools would open again on Monday, but the company later said the road would not reopen.
Residents have been able to get to and from their homes, but business owners said they were hurting.
"When people see a road closed, they are not going to come down in the road, especially when the cops say you can't come. When you go to a restaurant, people aren't going to pull over and say, 'Hey I'm going to this restaurant over here, can I go through?' They see a road closed, they're not coming through. It affected us big time," said business owner Derrick Richardson.
The leak that emanated from a Marathon pipeline spilled more than 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel. It was discovered on Friday.
Crews have replaced 20 feet of the underground pipe that caused the slow leak.
The pipe will be removed and examined to determine why it failed.
Marathon still has heavy equipment in the area involved in the cleanup effort, which is why the road will remain closed on Monday.
The road closure provides little comfort to nearby business owners, and some said they want to be compensated for their loss of business.
“Two gentlemen from Marathon come see me two times. They asked me how I am being affected. I told them they can see for themselves because there is nobody coming in,” said business owner Mohammed Jiallo.
A Marathon official said they had been working closely with businesses in the area and appreciated everyone’s patience.
The Marion County Health Department was on the scene since Thursday to monitor the air and ground water. They have not identified any problems so far.
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Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas