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Update 9:30 am:

Crews reopened all lanes of I-40 westbound between Asheville and the Tennessee state line at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Officials initially closed both directions of the interstate Monday afternoon after a truck hauling a chlorine chemical overturned. They reopened the eastbound lanes later that day, but the right lane traveling westbound remained closed until 9 a.m. the next day.

Update 7:25 am:

The right lane of I-40 westbound between Asheville and the Tennessee state line remains closed after a truck hauling a chlorine chemical overturned.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said it expects to reopen the lane at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The accident was reported at 3:20 p.m. Monday near mile marker 6 in North Carolina. Initially officials shut down both lanes of I-40 near the accident site, but eastbound lanes have since reopened.

Motorists should take the following alternate route to avoid delays:

  • Take Exit 53-B for I-240 West.
  • Then take Exit 4-A for I-26 West.
  • Continue on I-26 West until reaching I-81 near Johnson City.
  • Take Exit 8-A for I-81 South.
  • Continue on I-81 South to re-access I-40 West in Tennessee.

Previous story:

I-40 westbound is shut down in North Carolina after a truck hauling a chlorine chemical overturned.

The accident was reported at 3:20 p.m. on Monday at mile marker 6 in North Carolina.

Crews hope to have the highway back open around 4 a.m.

According to Bill Miller of the Hawood County Emergency Management Agency, hazardous materials crews are assessing the damage and its impact on the environment now. The substance isn't flammable, but it could cause a fire if mixed with other things, like gas. The accident happened close to a creek that runs into the Pigeon River. They know some of the substance got into the creek, but aren't sure how much. There was also a small vapor cloud that they are working to determine is hazardous.

Initially, both lanes of I-40 were shut down at the accident site, but eastbound lanes have since reopened.

On average, almost 23,000 drivers use that stretch of highway daily.

Westbound traffic is being diverted off at Exit 20.

Detour details: Take Exit 20, US 276 and should use the following detour: Take Exit 53-B for I-240 West then take Exit 4-A for I-26 West. Continue on I-26 West until reaching I-81 near Johnson City, TN. Take Exit 8-A for I-81 South. Continue on I-81 South to re-access I-40 West in Tennessee.

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