Fuel spill prompts hours-long closure of Highway 290 at Pinemont

Authorities say an 18-wheeler had a leak in its fuel tank and about 150 gallons of diesel spilled on the roadway for a few miles.
January 8, 2013 3:40:26 AM PST
A miles-long fuel spill in northwest Houston created a traffic nightmare for commuters heading outbound on Highway 290 Monday evening.

The incident happened shortly after 6pm on the service road of the Northwest Freeway just past the Pinemont Drive overpass.

Authorities say an 18-wheeler had a leak in its fuel tank and about 150 gallons of diesel spilled on the roadway for a few miles. As a result, crews were forced to shut down all outbound lanes of the highway, and drivers were forced to exit at 43rd Street.

"The diesel fuel on the roadway will make the road slick and can be hazardous to other drivers on the roadway if they drive through it. Plus, it's also flammable," said Capt. Joel Calfee with HPD's HazMat department.

The closure created a massive backup that turned the highway into a parking lot. In fact, one commuter shouted out to Eyewitness News that he had been stuck on the highway for three hours.

HazMat crews had the problem contained shortly before 9pm, but it took the contractor about another hour and half to clean up the mess. The highway wasn't reopened until shortly before 10:30pm.


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