UPDATE: All Lanes of I-64 East Reopen Near Institute

WSAZ photo/Justin Rogers
By  | 

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- After nearly 30 hours of closures, all Eastbound lanes of Interstate 64 are now open following a tractor trailer accident on Monday night.

Crews worked through Tuesday and early Wednesday morning to cleanup the crash site and replace nearly 400 feet of guardrail that was damaged during the accident.

The cleanup process resulted in hours of traffic congestion for thousands of drivers in Kanawha County.

UPDATE 8/19/15 @ 6:30 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Crews will continue to repair and replace the nearly 400 feet of guardrail that was damaged during a tractor trailer accident on Monday night.

At least one lane has remained closed for over 30 hours since the accident in the Eastbound lane of I-64 before the Institute exit.

Officials with the DOH say work should be completed sometime Wednesday morning and the lanes will reopen.

Keep clicking on WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 8/18/15 @ 11:15 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A crash on Interstate 64 late Monday night that affected drivers all day Tuesday is expected to impact the morning commute Wednesday.

The DOH tells WSAZ the slow eastbound lane of I-64 near Institute is expected to remain closed until some time Wednesday morning.

That's because crews are still working on replacing the long stretch of guardrail that was torn out.

Those working the scene say the guardrail problem is just one reason this cleanup has taken so long.

Ryan Environmental out of Bridgeport arrived at the scene about 5 a.m. Tuesday. Their supervisor, Mark Howard, says when that tractor-trailer spun out and went over the hillside, 50 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the ground.

Bulldozers removed the soil. Crews also worked on picking up pieces of metal and aluminum that came spilling out of the trailer after the crash.

"Sometimes it's longer than this, sometimes it's shorter than this," Mike Oakley with Kanawha County Emergency Management said. "It's just one of those card game kind of things."

If you drive that area, the other two eastbound lanes are expected to be open. You can expect it to be more congested than usual.

The driver of that truck was taken to the hospital. He's expected to be alright.

UPDATE 8/18/15 @ 6:40 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One lane of I-64 east between Cross Lanes and Institute remains closed Tuesday night following a tractor-trailer crash that happened late Monday night.

Sheriff's deputies say about 11:30 p.m. Monday, a semi hydroplaned, spun 180 degrees, hit a guard rail and then flipped over onto its top.

The driver, Kevin Wagy, who's from Ohio, was taken to the hospital. He is expected to be OK.

For much of Tuesday morning and afternoon, two out of three lanes were closed -- causing bumper-to-bumper traffic that at times was at a standstill.

Around noon Tuesday, many drivers were shocked to hear that they were stuck behind a crash that happened more than 12 hours earlier.

"I had no idea. That's crazy. That's a long time," Justin Kuba, a driver stuck in traffic, said. "I got my little girl in the car. She's hungry, so we may have to ... I don't know,"

Kuba says he can only imagine what traffic was like Tuesday morning.

"During rush hour traffic, I'm sure it's pretty frustrating," Mike Oakley with Kanawha County Emergency Management said.

The big question a lot of drivers had was why it was taking so long to clean up.

Oakley says diesel spilled from the semi that overturned, and clean-up crews were left playing the waiting game.

"At this point we're waiting on a vacuum truck to come, and probably seep up or swoop up some of the diesel fuel that they believe may still be on board," Oakley said Tuesday morning.

The traffic tie-ups had a domino effect for other roads, as well. It was also slow moving for drivers along detours like Goff Mountain Road.

The slow lane is expected to be closed for a while. Workers at the scene tell WSAZ that another crew is coming in to help clean up metal and debris that went over the hillside.

The slow lane must remain closed for workers' safety. There is no time frame for when it will reopen.

As frustrated as drivers were, many said they weren't surprised about the crash. It's an area where they happen often.

According to the West Virginia Division of Highways, in 2014, there were 101 crashes in the 3-mile stretch between Cross Lanes and Institute.

That's an increase from 95 in 2013 and 79 in 2012.

However, DOH officials say with more than 66,000 vehicles traveling through the area every day, that crash rate is actually below the statewide average.

Out of all of those crashes from 2012 to 2014, there were 58 injuries and one death.

UPDATE 8/18/15 @ 8:30 a.m.
CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A truck crash from midnight Monday is still causing problems for rush hour Tuesday morning.

For hours it clogged eastbound traffic around Cross Lanes on Interstate 64.

The truck was carrying ammonia.. All of that has been removed from the truck without any leaks. However, diesel fuel did leak from the truck and they are working on cleaning that up. They also are trying to offload the remainder of the fuel onto another truck. That's the process they are working on now before they bring the truck back upright

Crews recently reopened all three eastbound lanes, but two of the lanes are expected to temporarily close between 9:30 and 10 a.m. so crews can crews remove the truck.

Keep clicking on WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

ORIGINAL STORY 8/18/15 @ 12 a.m.
CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Emergency crews are on the scene of a tractor-trailer rollover crash on Interstate 64.

Dispatchers say a tractor-trailer rolled off I-64 eastbound just after 11:45 p.m. Monday. This is near the Cross Lanes exit and mile-marker 49.

Dispatchers also confirm the truck was carrying ammonia. The Department of Environmental Protection has been notified.

Kanawha County Sheriff's Department and the Tyler Mountain Fire Department are on scene. Deputies say there is fuel leaking from the truck, but no ammonia is leaking at this time.

Two of three Eastbound lanes are closed.

There's no word on the condition of the driver just yet.

Keep clicking on WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus