CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – I-64 has finally been reopened after a chemical spill on Tuesday.

After a tractor trailer carrying acetone-based material wrecked on Interstate 64 just west of the Interstate 77 split early in the morning on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) was able to get the road reopened within 36 hours.

WVDOH says that the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) helped immensely with the quick turnaround. WVDEP, along with local law enforcement, emergency medical service, fire departments, and contractors with West Virginia Paving, worked alongside WVDOH throughout the night to clean up the chemical spill that damaged the roadway. They further worked to repave the road itself, all while maintaining efficient detours.

WVDOH District 1 Manager Arlie Matney says that its an example of how West Virginian agencies can work together to efficiently solve problems.

“I was really thankful for the relationship that all the agencies that were on this job had. That allowed our people to go in and do what we do best to have that road open within 36 hours.”

WVDOH District 1 Manager Arlie Matney

The tractor trailer wrecked in the westbound lanes prior to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, spilling approximately 600 gallons of an acetone-based material onto the pavement. The material soaked into the asphalt, destroying the pavement where it spilled.

The acetone did such a good job breaking down the asphalt that the truck was glued in place by the mess and had to be broken loose before it could be removed.
Officials with DEP emptied the truck of acetone, dug up the affected asphalt, and disposed of it. WVDOH worked throughout the night directing traffic through a detour and surveying the damage.

“We painted on the road by flashlight what was going to have to be repaved. They started moving their equipment in about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. As soon as it was light and we could assess the situation, they went to work.”

WVDOH District 1 Manager Arlie Matney

WVDOH negotiated an emergency paving contract with West Virginia Paving at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, 2022. After everything was done, Interstate 64 reopened, complete with new lane striping, at exactly 11:42 a.m. Wednesday, July 20, 2022.