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TECO: Gas line hit by I-4 contractor properly marked

SGL contractor hit pipe causing hours-long traffic

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – A contractor with the I-4 Ultimate Project hit a 6-inch steel pipe near the Altamonte Springs Exit Monday prompting hours of traffic at a stand still during rush hour.

Cherie Jacobs with TECO, the company that owns the damaged natural gas line, said the pipe was about 24 feet below ground. 

"It's relatively new. It was recently installed about a year ago and it was damaged by an excavator that was working on the I-4 Ultimate Project," Jacobs said.

TECO, Florida's largest natural gas distributor, have many lines that run through the I-4 Ultimate Project. Jacobs said this isn't the first time a line has been damaged. 

"We did have another gas line hit two times in a similar spot along Kirkman Road," Jacobs said. 

The repair for that damage was paid for the by the I-4 contractor.

Monday's repair involved one cap and the closure of one valve, but Jacobs said a permanent solution still needs to be put in place. TECO engineers were at the leak site Tuesday to evaluate and create a permanent solution.

Steve Olson, with the Florida Department of Transportation, said they are working with TECO and the contractor that damaged the pipe to find out if the gas line was where their plans said it was. 

Jacobs said the gas lines were marked correctly. 

SGL, the contractors on the project, did not respond to emails and calls from News 6 for this story.

Olson said there is no timeline for when the permanent fix will be in place, but said the goal is to refrain from disrupting traffic while the work is completed.