The owner of the gasoline pipeline that broke in Shelby County, Ala., earlier this month, setting off fuel shortages throughout the Southeast, said its work on a line bypassing the broken section is complete and it will reopen the gas line today.
Colonial Pipeline said its crews have been working “around the clock” to get the broken pipeline back in order and keep fuel flowing to Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. The line that broke serves as the main gasoline artery for much of the Eastern Seaboard, extending from Houston, Texas, to New York.
The breach was detected on Sept. 9. By the time Colonial confirmed the break and shut off the pipeline, it had released between 6,000 and 8,000 barrels of gasoline into a mine retaining pool about 30 miles south of Birmingham.
Colonial said that it was running tests on the new 500-foot section of pipeline Wednesday. Once the fuel is running through the pipeline again, it will likely take a few days for the supply chain to return to normal. Several gas stations in the affected states had run out of gas or were rationing supplies as fuel trucks and ships tried to keep up with demand.
According to the Associated Press, the shortages drove up fuel prices in many parts of the affected states. The cost for regular gas in Georgia was up an average of 27 cents per gallon statewide from last week, with the Macon and Augusta areas seeing slightly prices.
The price of gas went up nearly 18 cents in South Carolina since before the pipeline break, while North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama also saw milder increases on average.