UPDATE: NYSP reports that Interstate 90’s traffic diversion has been lifted. Although traffic is flowing, the right lane is still closed for cleanup.
ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A portion of the Thruway was closed Monday morning after iron oxide was spilled on the roadway. A Troop T Sergeant said there are detours in place for commuters in the area.
The spill occured at around 2:04 Monday morning. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, a truck travelling westbound on I-90 hit an overpass abutment just prior to exit 26. The incident caused damage to the trailer and the release of a red powder.
DEC Spills Response staff immediately responded to investigate the red powder, which was identified as iron oxide, and to determine the type of cleanup needed.
All Westbound lanes on I-90 are blocked, but there is a detour in place before Exit 25A that will get commuters to Exit 26. On the Eastbound side, the left lane is closed, but traffic should be moving, according to the Troop T Sergeant.
Iron oxide is a hazardous substance that can have negative impacts on breathing if a person has direct and continuous contact.
Crews are working to clean the spill and expect the roads to reopen by 12 p.m. on Monday. Troopers did not say what caused the spill.
The Department of Environmental Conservation released the following statement on the incident:
Iron oxide is deemed hazardous only due to the possibility of it being inhaled. If inhaled at high rates, it can cause irritation to the respiratory tract and eyes and individuals should seek medical attention if they have trouble breathing. The substance can be safely removed from a vehicle by washing it. The majority of the material on the Thruway was swept up and water is being used to rinse off the road. Contractors are wearing appropriate protective gear and dust inhalation is no longer an issue. DEC will continue to monitor the cleanup.