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Thousands of gallons of gas spilled onto highway after tanker crash

By Joe Wenzel and Courtney Allen

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    LA VERGNE, Tennessee (WSMV) — A tanker flipped over and spilled thousands of gallons of gas over Interstate 24 in Rutherford County on Thursday morning.

La Vergne Police said the crash involved two vehicles, including a tanker truck, which happened on I-24 West between Waldron Road and Old Hickory Boulevard exits around 10 a.m. The tanker truck struck the median, overturned, and spilled much of its load.

Tennessee Department of Transportation crews had to repave the gas on the asphalt completely. TDOT officials explained that the road’s surface comes off when gas spills, so they have to replace it.

“The asphalt had deteriorated to the point that we could move it around with the boots,” TDOT District Operations Supervisor Jarrod Bonar said. “We made the decision right there to get a crew to remove that asphalt before we could open the road up.

As fuel acts as a solvent for asphalt, reducing it to nothing but gravel.

“You start putting truck traffic on something like that and it would be the worst pothole anyone has ever seen on these interstates,” Bonar said. “We know there has been some and ones down here.”

Bonar said they ended up having to take two and a half inches of asphalt off and repaved the eastbound lanes.

After 8,800 gallons of fuel spilled, the eastbound lanes were closed until about 2 a.m. on Friday. La Vergne Police reported no injuries. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

On Monday, a contractor will return to remove the remainder of the contaminated soil from the area.

TDOT said as many as 120,000 cars travel on I-24 in La Vergne each day.

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