www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-bay-bridge-accident-1024-20121023,0,4875977.story

baltimoresun.com

Hazardous leak closes Bay Bridge in both directions

By Candy Thomson, The Baltimore Sun

5:43 PM EDT, October 23, 2012

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Both spans of the Bay Bridge were closed for nearly two hours Tuesday during afternoon rush hour after a propane truck began leaking its contents on the westbound approach on Kent Island.

Eastbound traffic backed up to St. Margarent's Road and westbound traffic was stalled as far east as Kent Narrows while emergency crews dealt with the situation. At one point, Maryland Transportation Authority officials urged motorists to seek alternate routes, including Delaware roads.

The MdTA closed the bridges about 3:20 p.m., when a white tanker truck began venting a plume of white smoke near the intersection of westbound U.S. 50 and Route 8 in Stevensville.

Hazardous materials crews spent more than an hour assessing the situation, their vehicles parked about 100 yards from the tanker. Traffic cameras showed motorists stranded on the eastbound bridge getting out of their cars and peering over the side of the cement barriers.

About 4:45 p.m., an emergency vehicle began slowly pushing the tanker, surrounded by other emergency vehicles, along U.S. 50 and out of the way. A hazardous materials crew from the Maryland Department of the Environment applied a temporary plug in the safety valve and secured the load. The truck was escorted across the bridge to Sandy Point State Park, where it was offloaded to another tanker.

Eastbound traffic began moving 15 minutes later, followed by westbound traffic at 5:25 p.m.

candy.thomson@baltsun.com