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Morning problems on I-85, I-77

Two of Charlotte’s interstate highways were traffic nightmares Friday morning due to a pair of incidents that caused lane closures for several hours.

All lanes are open again late Friday morning after incidents earlier on Interstate 85 and Interstate 77.

On I-85, a the trailer portion of a tractor-trailer broke apart around 1 a.m. near the Little Rock Road interchange, and a 55-gallon drum fell from the vehicle, spilling its contents onto the southbound lanes of the interstate.

Charlotte fire Capt. Rob Brisley said the drum contained sodium bisulfate, a highly corrosive chemical.

“Hazmat crews used multiple fire trucks to block the interstate,” Brisley said. The southbound lanes remained closed during the night until one lane was opened a little after 6 a.m. During the night, southbound traffic on I-85 was detoured onto Wilkinson Boulevard between Little Rock Road and I-485.

The Hazmat team finished its work of cleaning the mess about 7:30 a.m. “No chemical materials reached creeks or other water supplies,” Brisley said.

Crews finished the job of transferring the load from the wrecked trailer to another vehicle about 10:30 a.m., and all lanes were opened.

The I-77 incident happened shortly after 9 a.m. in the northbound lanes, near Remount Road. It was a collision, involving two tractor-trailers and three passenger vehicles, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.

One of the trucks lost a load of paper products, and several northbound lanes were closed for more than an hour. During that time, another collision was reported on northbound I-77, farther to the south near Arrowood Road.

Steve Lyttle: 704-358-6107.
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