HAZMAT crews called after sealant spill in rollover

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Williams Drive in Georgetown reopened late Thursday after HAZMAT crews work to clean up close to 4,000 gallons of tar sealant spilled after a semitruck rolled over Thursday morning.

The roadway reopened around 9 p.m., but crews plan to close the westbound lanes of Williams Drive at Austin Avenue on Friday at 9 a.m. to allow for the cleaning of the storm drain line under Austin Avenue.

The Georgetown Fire Department and Williamson County HAZMAT crews spent Thursday working together to clean up the spill and clear the wreck site after the big rig carrying the sealant rolled over, closing the Williams Drive on the bridge over Interstate 35. Eastbound traffic on Williams Drive was being diverted to the southbound I-35 west frontage road. Traffic northbound on the east I-35 frontage road was allowed to turn west onto the Williams Drive Bridge, but could not turn eastbound onto Williams.

18-wheeler spills the tar sealant it was carrying when it rolled over (Chris Nelson/KXAN)
18-wheeler spills the tar sealant it was carrying when it rolled over (Chris Nelson/KXAN)

The rollover dumped a road-resurfacing tar sealant in the intersection of Williams Drive and the east frontage of I-35, first leaking from the trailer and then spreading. That closed off Williams Drive at the west frontage and Austin Avenue, and the lanes heading east on the frontage road are being rerouted.

Fire officials say the tar liquid poses no health risk and no immediate threat, but it is leaking into storm drains.  HAZMAT crews were able to stop the spill before it reached a creek that leads to the San Gabriel River.  Georgetown police said the cleanup will last most of the day.

Clean-up crews spread sand on the road emulsion liquid and are using skid loaders to put the material in roll off containers. Crews plan to power wash coated surfaces and may have to remove paving in order to remove the emulsion.

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