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Chemical spill closes eastbound 210 Freeway in Azusa [UPDATED]

January 14, 2009 |  7:22 am

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It's a traffic nightmare out there for commuters on the eastbound 210 Freeway in Azusa. All lanes on that side of the freeway are closed this morning after a semi-trailer truck toppled over, spilling liquid asphalt all over the road and creating a backup for miles.

The accident occurred about 5:45 a.m. near the Irwindale Avenue exit, said Officer Jennifer Connolly of the California Highway Patrol. The freeway is expected to remain closed until about 9 a.m. while Caltrans cleans up the mess and investigators try to determine why the semi rolled over. No one was injured, officials said.

Traffic on the eastbound 210 is being diverted to the northbound 605 Freeway. The transition from the northbound 605 to the 210 is closed as well.

Updated, 10:24 a.m.: The CHP says the eastbound 210 Freeway will remain closed well into the afternoon, maybe as late as 3 p.m. Eastbound traffic is backed up for miles, and westbound commuters are experiencing heavy congestion as drivers slow down to look as they pass, Connolly said. Caltrans is calling in extra units to help clean up the liquid asphalt. About 400 gallons of the mixture spilled onto the freeway, Connolly said.

Updated,12:45 p.m.: CHP officials said earlier the truck toppled near the Irwindale Avenue exit of the 210 Freeway, but the accident took place near the Azusa Avenue exit.

Updated, 4:51 p.m.: Three lanes of the eastbound 210 were reopened as of 4:40 p.m., leaving the two inside lanes on the freeway still closed, CHP officials said. Caltrans crews are still cleaning the spilled liquid asphalt off the roadway, and the two remaining lanes should be opened in the next few hours.

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image credit: Los Angeles Times