GREENACRES – Southbound lanes on Florida’s Turnpike reopened near Lake Worth Road on Thursday evening after closing hours earlier when a gas pipe ruptured, authorities said.
The incident also closed Lake Worth Road in both directions. The east-west road remained closed as of 5 p.m., clogging traffic on other roads in central Palm Beach County.
At 9:50 a.m., crews responded to a busted gas line running parallel to the turnpike by the Lake Worth Road exit, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Capt. Albert Borroto said.
Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Yanko Reyes said the ruptured pipeline created a hole along the side of the road that “compromised the integrity” of the northbound turnpike overpass. Authorities shut down traffic around the area as a result, diverting turnpike traffic at Southern and Boynton boulevards.
The cause of the rupture was unknown Thursday afternoon but was under investigation by the Florida Gas Transmission Co. and the Florida Department of Transportation.
Nearby residents were told to shelter in place as authorities worked the scene, but that advisory was lifted at about noon when there were no measurable gas readings within one-half mile of the affected area.
Discovery Key Elementary, on Lyons Road west of the turnpike, also was evacuated as a precaution, Reyes said..
Southbound lanes of the turnpike reopened Thursday evening, while northbound lanes remained closed as engineers continued to work. Lake Worth Road also was closed from Jog Road to State Road 7 on Thursday afternoon, according to Reyes.
Besides Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and FHP, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office also worked the scene Thursday.
A @FortPiercePD officer, who happened to be on @fl511_turnpike at the time of this morning’s gas line rupture, assisted @FHPPalmBeach with traffic control. The officer saw, “a huge plume of smoke, then traffic came to a standstill.” pic.twitter.com/kto9M7FzbN
— Fort Pierce Police Department (@FortPiercePD) September 24, 2020
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: FHP: Southbound lanes of Florida’s Turnpike reopen after gas pipe explosion closes highway