TDOT crews mill, repave about 1,900 feet of I-24 following massive fuel spill

i-24 fuel spill
Posted at 2:17 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-19 07:47:09-04

LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Crews with the Tennessee Department of Transportation spent hours repairing a section of Interstate 24 following a massive fuel spill.

On Thursday morning, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said a vehicle collided with a tanker truck carrying fuel, causing the truck to overturn and leak near the Davidson-Rutherford County line. About 8,800 gallons of fuel poured onto the interstate, deteriorating the asphalt and making the roadway unsafe.

TDOT Community Relations Officer Rebekah Hammonds said crews had to mill and repave the westbound shoulder and all eastbound lanes, a total of 1,900 feet, due to the amount of fuel that spilled in the crash.

"Asphalt begins to deteriorate under fuel at about 3 to 4 gallons," Hammonds said. "You can imagine what 8,800 gallons would do."

TDOT crews had to mill 2.5 inches of pavement. On average, for a project such as pothole-filling or resurfacing, crews remove about 1.25 to 1.5 inches of pavement.

"The asphalt deteriorated in such a state that you could move around the top layer of the asphalt. Imagining I-24 traffic trying to drive on that, [it] just would not have been safe," Hammonds said.

The crash shut down portions of the interstate for about 16 hours, causing heavy traffic for miles. The traffic was so bad, TDOT’s repaving process was delayed by a few hours as crews had trouble getting the equipment and materials to the site.

TDOT's repair process was completed around 2 a.m. Friday and the roadway was fully reopened shortly after.