I-10 Westbound now open; Eastbound still closed
WHISKEY BAY - Westbound lanes of the Basin Bridge opened up at around 10:45 am Saturday. Eastbound lanes will remain closed until Saturday morning, possibly after sunrise, as crews continue to deal with a deadly, fiery crash involving four 18-wheelers.
Traffic is being diverted to US-190 for those traveling Eastbound at I-49. DOTD says traffic is backed up to N University Avenue in Lafayette on I-10 East. Expect very heavy delays on US-190 in both directions.
State Police and emergency crews have been working the scene since the crash happened at the beginning of rush hour Friday. The driver of one semi, pulling a standard box trailer, did not notice traffic coming to a stop in front of him and rear-ended another semi causing a chain-reaction crash that eventually smashed four 18-wheelers together. One driver died.
The crash caused a large fire that burned the vehicles. State transportation inspectors will likely have to inspect the bridge before it is fully opened, troopers said.
Another issue overnight are unidentified barrels inside one of the trailers. Hazmat crews are also on scene to deal with that issue and others created by the explosive wreck, which happened on the eastbound side of the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge near LA 975.
Aerial video of the ordeal, shot by the WBRZ helicopter news crew powered by Custom Security, showed drivers waiting outside of their vehicles as firefighters battled the inferno from both east and west sides. The fire was extinguished in less than an hour, but people had to wait well into the night and some could linger, stuck on the bridge until early Saturday morning.
Some people were stuck in traffic on the bridge for as many as six hours. By 11 p.m., troopers had cleared seven miles of congestion by assisting drivers who had to either turn around or drive in reverse to the nearest crossover. There, they were shuffled onto the westbound lanes and eventually to I-49 and Highway 190. About one mile of congestion remained and those people are expected off the bridge around midnight.