William Lehman Causeway to reopen Saturday, officials say

Underground sewer main ruptures, causes massive hole in causeway

By Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter, Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

AVENTURA, Fla. - The William Lehman Causeway could now be closed for days.

Sunny Isles Beach police said Friday that the scope of work needed to repair a sewer pipe leak is more extensive than previously thought. 

Two lanes reopened by 10 p.m. Friday and officials expect to reopen all lanes on Saturday. 

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.

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