Travel around the DuPont area of Washington remains snarled this morning as officials work to clear wreckage from the Amtrak derailment over Interstate 5, just south of Tacoma, that killed at least 3 people and injured dozens more.
Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) officials are not saying how long the highway will be closed, but noted that all lanes of southbound I-5 are closed at Mounts Road near the Pierce-Thurston County line. Northbound traffic is moving through the area, but it is slowed, WDOT said.
The Seattle Times reports that heavy cranes have been brought in to remove the train engine and cars.
One of the detour routes is to use I-5 Center Drive, but the state police is advising commercial vehicles not to use that detour as it is not suitable for large trucks. WSDOT recommended the following detours:
- Southbound I-5 traffic is being detoured at Center Drive. Traffic will drive through Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) to State Route 510.
- Use State Route 16 to State Route 3. From there, use US 101 to get back to I-5 near Tumwater.
“We’re already seeing significant congestion on State Route 507 and State Route 7, and do not recommend motorists take State Route 302,” the agency said, noting that “northbound I-5 traffic is encouraged to stay on northbound I-5 and not exit at Center Drive.”
“Crews continue to work through the night on the train derailment, including investigating and planning for roadway clearing, which will begin once the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) authorizes removing the train cars,” WSDOT said in an update. “Our thoughts remain with the passengers and families affected by this crash and for the emergency responders from multiple agencies who are working tirelessly at the scene. WSDOT will reopen traffic on Southbound I-5 as soon as it is safe do to so. All entities involved are working as quickly as they can, but we are anticipating that this work may take days, not hours.”
Heavy delays in and around the area are expected.
Did you know?
According to the latest data from CarrierLists, the three-week moving average of ELD compliance was at 74% as of Monday, with regional fleets still lagging at below 70% compliance.
“This is something that’s not going to be open again in a couple hours. It’s going to be quite an undertaking.”
– Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT spokeswoman, on the I-5 closure
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Hammer down everyone!
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