Sandy Myers 540-332-9201
Cellular: (540) 292-2500
Ken Slack 540-332-9264
Cellular: (540) 414-5670
April 21, 2009
BOTH SOUTHBOUND LANES REOPEN ON I-81 IN SHENANDOAH COUNTY
STAUNTON – 3:30 P.M. – Both southbound lanes have reopened on Interstate 81 in Shenandoah County at mile marker 284.7 following a multi-vehicle accident. Motorists should expect delays in the area as the current eight-mile back-up clears the area.
This means that all northbound and southbound lanes have reopened. Earlier today all southbound and northbound lanes were closed.
The multi-vehicle accident occurred in the southbound lanes around 11:30 p.m. on Monday, April 20. This location is between exit 291 at Route 651 in the Toms Brook area and exit 283 at Route 42 in the Woodstock area.
A tractor trailer in the accident was carrying HAZMAT material. Due to the combustible nature of this material both southbound and northbound lanes were closed for several hours this morning as crews stabilized the chemicals. Vehicles in the accident were on fire. Several vehicles not involved in the accident in the area of the HAZMAT area were evacuated.
Around 8:30 a.m. today both northbound lanes were reopened.
Officials at the accident site state that much of the day was spent clearing the accident site and working with the HAZMAT truck. The pavement in the southbound lanes had to be washed to remove all HAZMAT chemicals. A small containment area in the median is being used to hold the washed material before it can be removed from the area. Virginia Department of Transportation officials examined the pavement and have determined that there is no damaged from the heat from the vehicle fire.
The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.
Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. In areas where 511 is unavailable, dial 1-866-MY511VA (866-695-1182) (TTY/TDD users, call 711). Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at 511Virginia.org.
Highway safety is everyone’s responsibility. Virginia’s highway safety partnership — the Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and Virginia State Police — challenges you to help prevent highway fatalities. Buckle up. Avoid distractions. Share the road. Drive drug- and alcohol-free. Obey speed limits. For more information on the Highway Safety Challenge and things you can do to avoid becoming Virginia’s next traffic fatality, visit www.safeVAhighways.org.
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