JOLIET, IL – A hazardous materials spill around 2 p.m. near Richards Street turned Interstate 80 into a nightmare for commuters, causing extensive delays and frustration. Division 15 of the Joliet Fire Department acted swiftly in response to the incident involving a truck leaking sodium phosphate, a highly corrosive liquid.
The spill occurred in the eastbound lanes, resulting in the closure of all lanes at Larkin Avenue. Traffic quickly came to a crawl from Interstate 55 to Larkin as emergency crews worked tirelessly to contain the leak and remove the hazardous material. The westbound lanes also experienced disruptions, compounding the congestion on the heavily traveled interstate.
Drivers seeking alternative routes found little relief, as Peotone Road was backed up for miles. Even routes 6 and 52, typically reliable alternatives, suffered from slower traffic due to the increased volume of diverted vehicles.
Officials anticipate that it will take several hours to restore normal traffic flow, leaving commuters in a state of frustration. Joliet Fire Chief Jeff Carey urged affected drivers to remain patient and consider using alternative routes while emergency crews resolve the hazardous situation.
As the hazmat incident continues to unfold, Joliet residents are grappling with the consequences. Motorists are advised to stay informed about the situation and plan their journeys accordingly, as significant delays are expected to persist well into the evening.
Meanwhile, traffic authorities and emergency responders remain vigilant, working diligently to address the hazardous material spill and restore order to the busy interstate.