City officials and residents of the Crestmoor neighborhood gathered today at the site of the Sept. 9 fire to mark the start of filling the crater left by the pipeline explosion.
The 72-foot-by-26-foot hole left when Line 132 ruptured near Glenview Drive and Earl Avenue has sat untouched since the disaster, which left eight people dead and 38 homes destroyed.
For a while, the crater was fenced off and considered an investigation scene while the National Transportation Safety Board and police looked into the fire and its aftermath.
Today's ceremony officially was the first step to closing the hole for good and mending a piece of the neighborhood that, for many, has been like an open wound.
Officials and a number of residents used ceremonial shovels to heave dirt into the hole. City Manager Connie Jackson said the rest of the work to open the street is expected to follow during the next several weeks.