Highway closed by explosion still being repaired - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Highway closed by explosion still being repaired

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A gas line explosion closed a portion of Highway 79. A gas line explosion closed a portion of Highway 79.
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SCOTTSBORO, AL (WAFF) -

Highway officials say a section of Jackson County Highway shut off because of a gas main explosion last week could stay that way for some time to come.

Flames shot into the air for hours after road crews accidentally struck a gas line while installing new guide rails on Highway 79. Workers ran to safety after they hit the line.

After nearly a week, state officials say the road could be shut down for a few more weeks.

Thursday, cable crews were on the scene repairing lines at the Mink Creek Bridge at the site of the explosion. That section of roadway has one lane closed as repairs continue. 

Officials say the traffic flow isn't such a problem that it's causing any congestion problems, but they also say there's still a lot of work left to be done before both lanes can be reopened.

"We basically have to get all of the utilities back in place, the guardrail driven, and the roadway repaired, so we're probably looking at still a few more weeks," said ALDOT Division Engineer Johnny Harris.

Officials have looked into how the gas main was breached in the first place. They say the main was marked, but it was the wrong main.

"They did come out and locate what they thought was the active line," said Harris. "We found out after further investigation that there was actually two lines in the area. One of them had been abandoned."

Crews will continue to work on the section of road until the repairs are made.

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