By Clint Parker
Woodfin – A tractor and trailer collided with a guardrail and a bridge Monday morning (June 17) shutting down the westbound (headed north) lanes of future I-26 at the top of the hill before the New Stock exit. The incident closed the highway for nearly six hours because of a fuel spill from one of the truck’s fuel tanks.
According to Lt. Bradley Collins with the Woodfin Fire Department the accident happened around 6:30 am with the call coming into the station at around 6:36 am. Collins said that both Weaverville Fire and Woodfin Fire Departments answered the call. Woodfin took the accident scene, with Weaverville working to close the interstate.
Collins told the Tribune no one was injured in the accident and that the driver was standing outside the rig when they arrived around 6:44 am. “There was a tractor-trailer that had left the roadway and hit the guardrail and had spewed approximately a hundred gallons of fuel across the roadway.” The semi also hit the bridge, but the reason the highway was shut down, Collins said, was to prevent vehicles from spreading the fuel that was on the surface of the road.
Said Collins, “We contacted DOT and allowed them to drop sand on the roadway to dry that up.” The clean-up kept the interstate closed until about noon causing a more than mile-long back-up as law enforcement worked to divert traffic onto the Weaverville Highway. Then one lane was opened.
“A crew from N.C. Department of Transportation bridge maintenance inspected the bridge on Future I-26 over Old Marshall Highway following a crash…as a precautionary measure,” said David Uchiyama, Communications Officer with the Western Mountains Area district of the DOT. DOT found no structural damage.
“Later this week, a separate crew will repair broken concrete and a contractor will repair the guardrail approaching the bridge, pending weather,” explained Uchiyama. He also said all lanes were open
about 4 pm.