Ruptured gas line closes SR-16

Construction accident in Gorst left traffic backed up for hours on Friday

Construction workers installing a new sewer line along State Route 16 in Gorst apparently struck a gas pipeline line and created a leak that effectively shut down the highway in one direction for several hours Friday morning, the Washington State Patrol reported.

Trooper Krista Hedstrom said that early in the morning of Nov. 7, crews from Stan Palmer Construction and Advanced Boring Specialists, Inc. were working on State Route 16 in Gorst to install a new sewer force main.

Shortly after 1:30 a.m., the crews were drilling a 30-inch diameter tunnel and were “pulling a casing pipe through the tunnel when a natural gas pipeline was displaced, causing a service line to rupture and create a significant gas leak.”

Hedstrom said traffic was then shutdown in both directions as the crews searched for the location of the leak, which was discovered to be underneath the highway’s eastbound lanes.

The westbound lanes were reopened to traffic before 4 a.m., but all eastbound lanes remained closed until one lane was opened around 7 a.m.

To repair the leak, crew removed sections of the guardrail, then dug into the road. Shortly before 8 a.m., they located the leak and capped the gas line.

The gas line was capped shortly before 8 a.m. and the leak was contained.

By 10 a.m., two eastbound lanes of SR-16 were opened to traffic. No injuries or accidents were reported.

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