West Loop 610 ramp reopens following Tuesday gridlock

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 6:21 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 5 at 11:31 AM

18-wheeler crash

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HOUSTON -- Both the north and southbound lanes of the West Loop Freeway have finally reopened. The northbound lanes weren't cleared until more than 12 hours after a big rig overturned Tuesday morning. 

The ramp to 59 reopened overnight.

The shutdown created a nightmare for drivers all day Tuesday. There was gridlock on streets near 59 and 610b as drivers tried to find a way around the mess.

Authorities said a tanker truck carrying methanol overturned on the ramp just before 6 a.m., sending debris flying into the mainlanes.

Police were extra cautious while the methanol was offloaded because it is highly flamable.

All northbound traffic on the Loop was forced to exit onto Westpark Drive. Southbound traffic was forced to exit near Richmond in the Galleria area. A portion of Westpark Drive was also blocked off, and heavy delays were reported on the surface streets.

The truck's driver suffered only minor bumps and bruises. TranStar reported one other vehicle was involved in the wreck, but no other injuries were reported.

No charges have yet been filed in the crash, Bellaire police said.

The Bellaire Police Department assisted in closing off the freeway, and the Houston Fire Department was called in to help unload the tanker truck’s methanol.

In addition to the debris that flew into the northbound lanes of the freeway, one of the tanker's axles broke off and fell into a construction area below, and a portion of the tanker trailer itself was left hanging over the concrete barrier.

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