• I-4 back open after nightmare closure, gas leak

    By: Monique Valdes

    Updated:

    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Hopefully the Tuesday morning commute is a lot better for I-4 drivers than Monday night's commute.

    A gas leak forced officials to shut down Interstate 4 in both directions in the thick of rush hour and the start of a bad storm Monday.

    Both sides of the interstate reopened at 7 p.m., but not before causing major headaches for hundreds of drivers.

    The gas leak happened near the State Road 436 exit ramp in Altamonte Springs, which is part of the I-4 Ultimate Project construction zone.

    TRAFFIC SECTION: Find an alternate route

    Skywitness9 flew over the scene, where construction equipment was spotted.

    The Florida Department of Transportation told traffic anchor Racquel Asa that the equipment is called a pile-driving rig, which is used to drive piles into the ground.

    Drivers heading west were told to exit at State Road 434. Those heading east had to get off at Maitland Boulevard.

    Sean, a driver who asked Channel 9 to not release his last name, said he spent two hours waiting in traffic on I-4 and another two hours taking a detour home.

    "First, it looked like sand, but then it started billowing, and it looked hazy," he said of the gas spewing from a broken 4-foot gas line. "It didn't look like the consistency of just dirt."

    FDOT officials had suspended tolls on the Seminole County section of State Road 417, which extends from I-4 to Aloma Avenue at the Orange County line. But the suspension has since been lifted.

    Florida Highway Patrol troopers escorted TECO officials to the site to take care of the leak. 

    No other information was released.

    Channel 9 has reached out to FDOT to learn whether the gas leak will impact the timeline of the I-4 Ultimate project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

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