Southbound lanes of Florida’s Turnpike reopen after gas pipe explosion closes highway

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.



A gas line running parallel to the Florida turnpike ruptured Thursday morning near the Lake Worth Road in Greenacres, Florida on September 24, 2020. The turnpike was shut down in both directions and residents were asked to shelter in place. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)


© Greg Lovett, The Palm Beach Post
A gas line running parallel to the Florida turnpike ruptured Thursday morning near the Lake Worth Road in Greenacres, Florida on September 24, 2020. The turnpike was shut down in both directions and residents were asked to shelter in place. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)

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.



a group of people riding on the back of a truck: Palm Beach County School buses head to Discovery Key Elementary School in Lake Worth had to move students and faculty to Polo Park Middle School in Wellington, after a gas line explosion Thursday . [JOSEPH FORZANO/palmbeachpost.com]


© Joe Forzano, The Palm Beach Post
Palm Beach County School buses head to Discovery Key Elementary School in Lake Worth had to move students and faculty to Polo Park Middle School in Wellington, after a gas line explosion Thursday . [JOSEPH FORZANO/palmbeachpost.com]

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.. 



a large long train on a highway: The southbound lanes of Florida's Turnpike is empty as seen from the Forest Hill Boulevard overpass, after a gas line explosion at Lake Worth Road closed sections of Lake Worth Road and the turnpike on Thursday. [JOSEPH FORZANO/palmbeachpost.com]


© Joe Forzano, The Palm Beach Post
The southbound lanes of Florida’s Turnpike is empty as seen from the Forest Hill Boulevard overpass, after a gas line explosion at Lake Worth Road closed sections of Lake Worth Road and the turnpike on Thursday. [JOSEPH FORZANO/palmbeachpost.com]

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.

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@hannahwinston

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: FHP: Southbound lanes of Florida’s Turnpike reopen after gas pipe explosion closes highway

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