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Published on June 21, 2024
Fort Lauderdale's SE 17th Street Bridge Reopens After Gas Leak Repair, Easing Local Traffic DisruptionsSource: City of Fort Lauderdale City Gov Website

After a harrowing closure due to a gas leak, the Southeast 17th Street bridge in Fort Lauderdale has been fully reopened, restoring normalcy to the roadways and the local communities affected by the incident. According to WSVN, a gas line rupture was reported just after 6 p.m. on Thursday, triggering a swift response from emergency crews to secure the area and conduct repairs.

The rupture, which occurred eight feet underground near the Speedway gas station at 2300 SE 17th St., led to the mobilization of hazmat and chemical rescue teams to the scene, and this swift response was a relief despite the prolonged road closures that affected both eastbound and westbound traffic, and Fort Lauderdale Police along with Fire Rescue units were also involved in tending to the crisis, staying on-site trying to find the gas leak up until late night. "Horrible. A nightmare," an area resident described the ordeal in a WSVN statement, expressing the frustration felt by many.

The gas leak also affected traffic at the intersection of Southeast 17th Street and Harbor Inlet Drive, with local drivers advised against attempting to pass through, as stated by the office of Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Warren Sturman. Those residing in Harbour Inlet and Harbor Beach were asked to shelter in place while crews worked on repairing the leak and utilities were shut off to prevent further complications as reported by WSVN.

On Friday morning, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department conveyed through a post on X, that the gas leak has been repaired and traffic flow over the SE 17th Street bridge had reestablished its familiar rhythm, with no residual impact to the surrounding areas, residents who had previously been hindered by the disruption expressed relief as the community infrastructure clicked back like a well-oiled machine into its routine operations. "There's thousands of people that can't get in and out. There's older people that live in there, and I say 50% of the people are over the age of 50 in there to 65," resident Joy Triglia told WSVN, highlighting the particular challenges the incident posed for the neighborhood's senior residents.

Officials provided an all-clear as of 7:00 a.m., with crews having finished work and lifting the restrictive cordon that had previously curtailed access, as informed by the City of Fort Lauderdale. There was an interim measure allowing partial opening of SE 17th St., to permit movement over the bridge, underscoring a gradual restoration of order amidst ongoing repairs, before the final announcement of completion. Community patience and cooperation were acknowledged and appreciated by authorities as the incident drew to a close.

Miami-Community & Society