A contractor finishing work on the new Autobarn Fiat dealership at 1034 Chicago Ave. in Evanston cut a gas line this morning, and officials have shut off traffic on the street at this hour because of the leak.

Chicago Avenue is reportedly blocked from Lee Street on the south to Hamilton Avenue on the north.

Evanston fire crews are on the scene monitoring the situation awaiting the arrival of Nicor gas crews to repair the damage.

So far there are no reports of any elevated gas levels in nearby buildings.

The dealership is scheduled to open later this month.

Update 2:55 p.m.: By about 2:30 p.m. Chicago Avenue was back open but a Nicor gas truck was still on the scene.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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