If you travel on northbound US-131 near Rockford on a regular basis, you know what a backup there has been for the last week or so. It looks like that situation will continue for at least two more weeks.

The problem started on Tuesday, January 24th, when due to icy roads, a tanker overturned on northbound US-131 just past the 12 Mile Road overpass. The tanker was carrying about 13,000 gallons of fuel. Just under half of that amount, about 4,800 gallons of fuel spilled from the tanker and seeped into the ground. The spill was contained to a surface area of about 800 feet.

Northbound US-131 Tanker Cleanup
Photo: Michigan Department of Transportation

A Hazmat team was immediately called in to clean up the contaminated soil. The project initially was projected to last a couple of days. The remaining fuel was pumped from the tanker and the contaminated soil is being dug up and then moved to a special landfill.

Contaminated Soil
Photo: Michigan Department of Transportation

The project has now been extended to last until Friday, February 17th...that's an additional two weeks! During that time, the right lane of northbound US-131 will remained closed from 12 Mile Road to the Rogue River.

Northbound US-131 Lane Closure
Map Provided by Michigan Department of Transportation

This stretch of road tends to back up to at least Post Drive every afternoon. Other route options that might work better for you include taking Algoma Avenue, Pine Island, or Northland Drive and avoiding US-131 altogether until this project has been completed.

During this cleanup, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy will be monitoring the groundwater for the wells in the neighborhoods close to the spill. Despite the additional time for clean-up, the agency said the first responders did a good job of minimizing the spill.

For up-to-date information on this project and others, see a list of statewide lane closures at: www.michigan.gov/drive.

You can also follow MDOT at www.twitter.com/MichiganDOT or www.facebook.com/MichiganDOT.


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