I-40 East reopened Saturday afternoon near the Tennessee-North Carolina state line after a liquid asphalt spill closed it for more than 24 hours.
The road was closed at mile marker 7 in North Carolina and traffic backed up into Tennessee there for hours before it was rerouted.
North Carolina's transportation department said the interstate was originally scheduled to reopen by 9:00 p.m. Friday, but the timeframe was pushed back twice.
Westbound traffic did not experience delays.
Drivers had to use alternate routes through a detour from I-40 East, to I-81 north, to I-26 east.
Several drivers on the way to Asheville stopped by the rest stop ahead of the I-81 and I-40 split to figure out which route they were taking.
"Instead of us getting home at 7:15 p.m. we might get home close to 9 o'clock that is assuming we can find our way home," travelers Rita and Dennis Shardell said.
Other families, like the Meyer's, were anxious to get to their destination because they have two little ones.
"With a toddler and an infant being stuck in a non moving vehicle is not fun for anybody," Libby Meyer said.
Several people decided to stay the night at the rest stop to wait out the traffic until the interstate reopened.