A chemical leak closed the Delaware Memorial Bridge in both directions Sunday evening, which meant that traffic on a large…
A chemical leak closed the Delaware Memorial Bridge in both directions Sunday evening, which meant that traffic on a large east coast artery stops at one of the busiest days of the year.
Leak is derived from the Delaware chemical production plant Croda Atlas Point, located near the twin hinged bridges on a major road between Washington and New York, Holloway Terrace Fire Company, public information officer George Greenley said.
The leaked chemical is ethylene oxide, a highly flammable gas, which is a finished product derived from methanol, “said Greenley.
“If it had had an ignition source, it could have been catastrophic with the bridge traffic,” he said.
The bridge closed at 1
Greenley said the firefighters are waiting for pressure to disappear in the pipes at the plant before re-opening the bridge. He said that the chemical spreads quite quickly from the pipes and estimates that the bridge could be resumed in the next few hours. The state department for natural resources and environmental control is in place at the leak.
The traffic on both sides of the bridge was transferred to other intersections, including the Commodore Barry Bridge in the north, which caused what the government called a “parking” very “situation to spread to other stuffy roads.
The bridge carries Interstate 295 at eight lanes across the wide southern part of the Delaware River between northern Delaware and southern New Jersey. Southbound traffic from the New Jersey Turnpike is also streaming over it. More than 80,000 vehicles make the crossing daily, according to the authority.
Lashrecse Aird, a member of Virginia House of Delegates, stuck in the bridge traffic on their way home to Virginia from New York. Thanksgiving commuter usually takes her six hours, she said, but she had already been on the road for that time and her GPS told her she had more than three hours to go.
A police car and a dangerous truck latches the bridge when she approaches. She stayed for an hour before she was redirected, she said.
“We ended up taking 295 north to enter 322, targeting Barry Bridge,” she said, “and then it will take us back south. Everyone is coming that way, so we are still not moving properly. “