Ruptured pipe causes hole in middle of William Lehman Causeway

Underground sewer main ruptures; wastewater spills into nearby retention lake

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Madeleine Wright - Reporter

AVENTURA, Fla. -  A large hole in the middle of the William Lehman Causeway has prompted the closure of the span that connects Aventura to Sunny Isles Beach.

The pressure from a leaking 24-inch sewer pipe was so great late Thursday night that it pushed the asphalt and sand out of the way and ripped a hole in the causeway, according to a Miami-Dade County official.

Officials said the break is located about a quarter-mile east of where the causeway intersects with Biscayne Boulevard. The pipe is 12-feet underground. 

Water was leaking all over the causeway, but workers were able to shut down the flow of the pipe. Now they're working to dig up the ground, find the source of the rupture and replace that section of pipe.

Once the pipe is fixed, they'll be able to repair the damaged roadway.

Officials said wastewater also spilled into the drainage retention lake near the causeway. 

Police initially only closed the westbound lanes of the causeway, but they've since closed all lanes as a precaution.

There is no timetable for when the causeway will reopen to traffic.

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