NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - All lanes on I-64 westbound at the J. Clyde Morris overpass have been reopened after an asphalt sealer spill Thursday afternoon blocked the roadway for nearly seven hours.
A tanker truck overturned around 1:30 p.m. at J. Clyde Morris Boulevard (Exit 258-B), according to VDOT. The impact of the crash ruptured the tank, causing it to leak 1,000 gallons of liquid, hot-mix asphalt sealer onto the road, according to State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
The driver of the truck was not injured and has been identified as 29-year-old Dennis Smith from Chesterfield, Va. According to VSP, Smith has been driving for Dominion Paving and Sealing -- which is based in Chesterfield -- for three weeks.
Smith has been charged with failure to maintain proper control of a vehicle. VSP say he lost control of the tanker truck when it's 4,000 gallon load shifted coming up the onramp from J. Clyde Morris Blvd. The truck overturned onto its side because of the shift and the speed of the truck.
VSP told WAVY.com the spilled material was water-soluble and non-hazardous, but clean up was still a tedious process.
A special crew from Clean Harbors Environmental in Chesapeake worked to clear the roadway, first by creating a perimeter of sand around the spill and squeegeeing the material toward a vacuum.
Once the material was removed from the roadway, material that didn't spill from the truck was vacuumed and then the vehicle was righted and removed. Crews spread sand across the roadway to soak up any other material, removed it and then repeated the process with clean sand.
All westbound lanes were blocked, as well as the onramp from J. Clyde Morris Blvd., but all roads are now clear.
VSP initially hoped to have the westbound lanes opened by 4:30 p.m., but clean up of the spill did not finish until a little before 9 p.m.
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