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Downtown getting blast-resistant manhole covers

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Utility crews are installing about 100 new manhole covers in downtown Indianapolis that are designed to reduce the extent of damage from underground explosions and fires.

The work follows at least six underground electrical explosions in the city's downtown over the past two years. One of those blasts happened near windows to the governor's Statehouse office, with others damaging cars and sending manhole covers flying.

The new covers are being installed near Lucas Oil Stadium and around locations for activities tied to February's Super Bowl, according to The Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis Power & Light has more than 1,200 manholes in the downtown area.

IPL engineer Mike Holtsclaw told WTHR-TV that the new covers lock into place and are designed to lift about 3 inches in event of an explosion.

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  • 8%
    Wow, I feel sooooo lucky that in their infinite wisdom, they decided to replace 8% of the covers to protect the public during 3% of the year (the 2 weeks surrounding the super bowl). Thanks IPL, you have restored my faith in the NFL, the City of Indianapolis, and in you.
  • No Repairs on the Cause
    So, does this mean they will not be going into the holes to repair or replace the old cables that are actually causing the explosions. This sounds like it is cheaper to put a bandage on the laceration then to seek a doctor for sutures. Amazing how the city is OK with the Utility companies doing this. I guess since the city no longer owns any of it they don't fear any citizens or visitors from dying from this. Who know if next time it will be in the lower level of a building full of people and no one will be able to get out because the floor level of the building is burning. The city can not ignor this it is really like a thousand ticking time bombs waiting to blow.

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