Colonial pipeline: Bypass fixed, gas could flow Wednesday

A sign informs customers of a gas outage at a station in Smyrna, Ga., Monday, Sept. 19, 2016. Gas prices spiked and drivers found "out of service" bags covering pumps as the gas shortage in the South rolled into the work week, raising fears that the disruptions could become more widespread. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal issued an executive order Monday aimed at preventing price gouging. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A sign informs customers of a gas outage at a station in Smyrna, Ga., Monday, Sept. 19, 2016. Gas prices spiked and drivers found "out of service" bags covering pumps as the gas shortage in the South rolled into the work week, raising fears that the disruptions could become more widespread. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal issued an executive order Monday aimed at preventing price gouging. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

ATLANTA, Ga. (WATE) — The pipeline company working to repair a leak that led to gas shortages and higher prices for drivers across the South says its bypass repair is complete and it expects to restart its main gasoline line Wednesday.

Colonial Pipeline spokesman Steve Baker said that testing is now being done on the line. Baker said crews have been working around the clock to get fuel to markets, and that it will take a few days for the fuel supply chain to fully recover after the line restarts.

Related: Tennessee investigates price gouging; Smaller chains struggle to truck in gasoline

“Motorists may continue to see spotty outages this week, but once regular fuel delivery resumes supplies should return to normal. AAA advises motorists to continue their normal driving and fueling routine,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee Public Affairs Director, AAA—The Auto Club Group. “We anticipate that pump prices will return to last week’s level fairly soon after fuel deliveries are back on schedule.”

Colonial Pipeline bypass
Colonial Pipeline bypass

Currently Tennessee’s gasoline average is $2.14, an increase of 15 cents from last week, according to AAA. Even with the delayed fuel supplies, the state’s average remains seven cents below the national average.

AAA said the state of emergency is still in effect protecting consumers from price gouging. They said it is important to note that pump prices could vary dramatically among retailers. On the wholesale level, some independent retailers may be forced to pay as much as 30-45 cents more than their branded counterparts.

The 500-foot (152- meter) bypass was needed to move fuel around the leak of its main gasoline pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama. The leak, which spilled 6,000 barrels of gasoline into a detention pond, was detected Sept. 9.

colonial pipeline

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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