Overturned tractor trailer slows holiday traffic

News
Friday, December 31, 2010 - 5:43pm

BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) -- Holiday traffic was at a standstill on Interstate 12, the result of an overturned tractor trailer. Clean-up took nearly all day.

Drivers heading out of the Capitol City on I-12 this morning were all feeling the same frustration. "I'm already late for work," says Pete Akuta. "I was supposed to be at work for 10."

An 18-wheeler carrying containers of flammable liquid overturned near the Amite River Bridge, closing I-12 eastbound at O'Neal Lane for hours.

"It depends on the damage to the truck, the amount of material in the truck, and how much off-loading we'll have to do," says Robert Combs with the Baton Rouge Fire Department. "It can last throughout the day."

And it did. Drivers we talked to had been sitting on the interstate for up to an hour before they were re-routed, and it only got worse as the day went on. The accident happened at 6:30AM. By  noon, traffic was backed up all the way to the Sherwood Forest exit, four miles from the site of the crash.

At 5pm, the interstate is still closed at O'Neal. Officials have righted the truck, but they expect it will take another few hours before they can get the road clean. There's no estimated timeframe as to when the road will reopen.

All eastbound traffic is being diverted to O'Neal Lane. If you wish to continue eastbound, take O'Neal lane north to US 190 (Florida Blvd.) then turn right (east) and cross the Amite River. Drivers can then re-enter I-12 at Denham Springs.

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