NYC traffic slows for manhole fire


NEW YORK (AP) – All lanes on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens were open to traffic Saturday morning after a manhole fire shut down parts of the road just hours before an eagerly awaited baseball game between the New York Mets and the Yankees.

The fire started around 3 p.m. Friday beneath an overpass at 168th Street in the borough’s Kew Gardens section, fire and state transportation officials said.

Testing by Consolidated Edison Inc. found the fire contained low levels of asbestos, company spokeswoman D. Joy Faber said. Crews conducted cleanup around the area.

Eastbound lanes on the parkway, which runs through Queens to the border of Long Island’s Nassau County, had reopened by 9 p.m. Friday. Traffic was flowing on the westbound lanes by 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

To fight the blaze, firefighters diverted traffic to local streets as fans pushed to get to the 7 p.m. Subway Series at Shea Stadium, home of the Mets.

Faber said the cause of the fire was under investigation. No service outages were reported.