‘Bad Beltway day’: Truck fire on I-495 in Maryland slows drivers

Drivers were hit with major delays Wednesday on the Capital Beltway in Prince George’s County, Maryland, after a truck burned to the ground.

Traffic was “wall-to-wall,” stretching about eight miles, according to WTOP Traffic Reporter Dave Dildine, shortly before 4 p.m. making for a “bad Beltway day between Alexandria and Camp Springs on the outer loop.”

Vehicles were only able to move in the two left lanes, for more than two hours. All lanes opened by about 4:30 p.m.

The truck fire started shortly before 2 p.m. between Allentown Road and Pennsylvania Avenue. The recovery process also required a hazardous materials response, according to Dildine, because the truck’s fuel tank ruptured and caused a “spill that reportedly tricked off the Beltway.”

“The recovery of a badly burned vehicle, especially a truck, can be time consuming since it can’t just be rolled away,” said Dildine.

Beyond the area where the fire occurred, the backups have “stirred up traffic on a regional level,” according to Dildine. Traffic is heavy on Suitland Parkway and the Southwest Freeway (Interstate 395). There are also delays at the Anacostia River bridges, as drivers “went for the wider workaround on [Interstate] 295,” Dildine said.

Kate Corliss

Kate Corliss is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. She is a senior studying journalism at American University and serves as the Campus Life Editor for the student newspaper, The Eagle. Before joining WTOP, she covered local Connecticut news at the Rivereast News Bulletin and reported on Congress

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