WASHINGTON — A wreck on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge resulted in major traffic delays on Route 50 Saturday afternoon. The west span of the bridge was closed for about six hours.
The accident involved an overturned tractor-trailer that became wedged between the railings of the west bridge span, physically blocking all lanes.
Police were called to the bridge at 2:45 p.m. The westbound lanes of Route 50 were immediately closed. Westbound drivers behind the wreck were escorted by police off the bridge back to the Eastern Shore. Two-way traffic was permitted on the older, east span of the bridge after 4 p.m.
Sgt. Jonathan Green, with the Maryland Transportation Authority, says the agency initially expected crews to be able to clear the overturned truck by late afternoon.
“The on-board fuel tanks started leaking during the uprighting process,” Green says. Highway crews were able to contain the diesel spill on the roadway. No fuel spilled into the Chesapeake Bay.
“There was some contact [with the bridge] when the truck overturned.” Crews inspected the railings of the bridge but found no significant damage.
The truck was upright at 7 p.m. and cleared off the bridge shortly before 8 p.m. The west span of the bridge reopened to traffic around 8:40 p.m.
The accident involved two vehicles. Green says one person was treated for non-life threatening injuries on the scene. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
In July 2013, a truck collision sent a car plunging off the east span of the bridge into the Chesapeake Bay. The single occupant of the car was able to swim to safety. In August 2008, a tractor trailer crashed through the eastbound span’s railing, killing the driver and injuring two others.
A second accident occurred on Route 50 near Route 450 in Annapolis Saturday afternoon. A Maryland State Police officer was involved in the crash. Two medical helicopters responded to the scene. The incident added to delays on Route 50 in Anne Arundel County.