Traffic Relief: I-25 Reopens After Diesel Spill Cleanup
You probably would not have taken a bet that said that I-25 would be closed for a day and a half when we heard that a diesel tanker had crashed early Saturday.
Yet sighs of relief rang out across the Front Range when CDOT announced at about 3:15 p.m. on Sunday that I-25 was officially open in both directions after being closed between Highway 402 and Highway 34.
I was driving to a baby shower in Eaton on Saturday and knew that I-25 had been shut down, so I was not surprised to see the exits closed as I drove over the interstate. What I hadn't counted on was all the traffic coming westbound, detouring to Highway 287. I cannot imagine how many vehicles were affected by Saturday morning's spill.
We reported the news on Saturday morning about the 11,000-gallon diesel spill and the closure of I-25, and we all waited for word on the clean-up. And waited. And waited. Word finally came that it would be hours before the road was usable again, so we waited some more. The waiting continued into Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Then, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced that the southbound lanes were open. That's good news. Then, the great news: Both directions were open to travel.
From CDOT's press release on Sunday:
...following more than a 36-hour closure to clean up and repair the road after a diesel fuel tanker crash that spilled approximately 11,000 gallons of fuel around 1 a.m. Saturday morning.
During this closure, the tanker had to be removed and the cleanup of the fuel involved CDOT, local fire authorities, contractors and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Much of those cleanup duties involve on-going issues to ensure the fuel does not contaminate the Big Thompson River. The EPA and others were stationed in the southbound lanes until earlier today when an off-road staging area was created. This allowed CDOT to pave and restripe the southbound lanes.
Some of the fuel seeped through the pavement and affected the subsurface, which meant that the affected areas had to be milled down and repaved, especially on the northbound section.
It's good to know that Monday morning travel won't make Monday even more of a 'Monday' with closures, but I would expect for things in that area to look different, causing slowdowns.
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