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Accident Closes I-66 Lanes At Beltway

[This post has been updated]

6:30 A.M. UPDATE: All lanes are now open and cleared. Traffic is still backed up to Nutley Street -- about 2 miles -- which is fairly typical of the morning rush hour commute on I-66 East.

As for what happened: A tractor-trailer hauling produce hit a jersey wall set up as part of HOT construction on I-66 at the Beltway, according to Trooper B.J. Burns of the Virginia State Police. Troopers arrived on the scene at 3:15 a.m. and found that while none of the cargo was spilled, the driver's fuel tanks had ruptured and approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto the through lanes of I-66 East, Burns said. The lanes exiting to 495 North and South were unaffected; the lanes continuing on 66 to Arlington and Washington were the ones impacted. So there was heavier-than-usual traffic for regular Beltway commuters, since drivers heading east on 66 were routed temporarily onto the Beltway along with them.

All lanes reopened to travel at 6:24 a.m. There are lingering backups, but it is generally in keeping with the usual I-66 East backups and delays. The exact cause of the accident is under investigation, but looks to be driver error, Burns said.

6:20 A.M. UPDATE: Traffic is backed up at least as far back as Nutley Street, according to traffic cameras.

6 A.M. UPDATE: The accident took place at about 3:15 a.m., involving a single car (the tractor-trailer) and a diesel fuel spill, an official with the Virginia State Police said. And Fairfax County Fire Department units are on the scene, but leaving within minutes. More information as we get it.

ORIGINAL POST, 5:40 A.M.: A tractor trailer accident on I-66 East at the Beltway will cause major delays for commuters this morning. The east left lane, center lane and right lane are all closed. The Virginia Department of Transportation recommends this detour: Take exit 64 B to the Beltway (heading north), take exit 47 B to Leesburg Pike (Route 7) heading east and then re-enter I-66 East.

By Mark Berman  |  November 20, 2009; 5:42 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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