All lanes now open on I-59/20 northbound following chemical spill cleanup

This is an up close view of a roadway. (Source: Pexels/stock image)
This is an up close view of a roadway. (Source: Pexels/stock image)((Source: Pexels/stock image))
Updated: Oct. 3, 2020 at 8:23 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - All lanes on I-59-20 NB are now open after they were closed Friday afternoon to clean up a chemical spill.

According to ALDOT, all hazardous materials have been removed and the lanes have been repainted.

Original Story:

I-59/20 is closed in both directions Thursday night in Birmingham after an overturned 18-wheeler spilled 39,000 pounds of the chemical sodium hydrosulfide.

The powder-to-liquid conversation is about 5,000 gallons.

The incident occurred Thursday around 2 p.m. and according to ALDOT the freeway could remain closed until the end of Friday, October 2.

On Friday morning, Birmingham Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Jackie Hicks says the chemical is difficult to clean up because it is corrosive and toxic. He said it’s assumed at least 25% percent of the chemical spilled from the 18-wheeler.

The actual clean-up process began at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Motorists are asked by ALDOT to use the following detours:

  • I-59/20 northbound traffic should detour onto I-459 northbound
  • I-59/20 southbound traffic should detour onto I-65 northbound or I-65 southbound

For more up-to-date detours Friday morning, follow the WBRC FOX6 Traffic Twitter page or click here.

Sodium hydrosulfide is potentially toxic, according to government reports.

We’re told by authorities that the driver did not sustain any injuries in the accident.

18-wheeler overturned
18-wheeler overturned(WBRC)
18-wheeler overturns on I-59 spilling a chemical
18-wheeler overturns on I-59 spilling a chemical(WBRC)

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