Traffic alert: Spill causes I-5 NB mess, with spillover effects

(“Live” traffic-cam image from the spill site)
2:21 PM: This one is likely to have a West Seattle Bridge domino effect, so beware – a haz-mat spill involving a truck has closed all lanes of northbound I-5 at I-90, and there’s no estimate yet as to how long the cleanup will take. Our partners at the Times are tracking it here.

3:28 PM: Two lanes are now open.

4:41 PM: The warnings about surface streets are true. We are in a jam on SB 4th and NB looks worse.

8:47 PM NOTE: The final State Patrol media report on this says I-5 was fully reopened before 7 pm. The spill totaled two gallons of what WSP described as “sodium borohydride and sodium hydroxide solution.” No injuries were reported.

19 Replies to "Traffic alert: Spill causes I-5 NB mess, with spillover effects"

  • ru August 1, 2012 (2:34 pm)

    Dying to know what the ‘spill’ is. Could be anything.

  • sam-c August 1, 2012 (2:37 pm)

    99-N access from the westbound West Seattle bridge would be helpful now, oh well,
    why has WSDOT blacked out the I-5 at Holgate traffic camera?

  • Ed August 1, 2012 (2:41 pm)

    Entrance to I 5 northbound closed from WS bridge. Trip to beacon hill jammed. Closer to stopped.

  • coffee August 1, 2012 (2:54 pm)

    Radio just said several hours to clean up.

  • Kathi August 1, 2012 (3:20 pm)

    It is actually closed 2 miles south of west seattle bridge.

    • WSB August 1, 2012 (5:41 pm)

      Kathi – was that something separate? The visual (which I’m finally adding) shows this situation very clearly at I-90, as reported. – TR

  • d August 1, 2012 (3:20 pm)

    “The liquid is sodium borohydride and sodium hydroxide solution, chemicals used for bleaching pulp and wood products, Moore said. If mixed with water, it can create a toxic, corrosive or flammable gas”
    Sounds terrible.

  • shockguy August 1, 2012 (3:27 pm)

    1st ave & 4th ave all jammed!

  • justadumbguy August 1, 2012 (3:44 pm)


    Per the article linked the spill is:
    The liquid is sodium borohydride and sodium hydroxide solution, chemicals used for bleaching pulp and wood products,

  • Bikejuju August 1, 2012 (4:01 pm)

    Why oh why did I choose to bus not bike today?!

  • ryanl August 1, 2012 (4:48 pm)

    Imagine if there was an Arena & a game!!!

  • bob August 1, 2012 (5:40 pm)

    and how often how does this occur ryanl? Bring on the arena.

  • Arbor Heights Mom August 1, 2012 (6:23 pm)

    Took me 1 1/2 hours to get my son to Seattle Center for All City Band practice from Arbor Heights via First Ave S Bridge and First Avenue. Not too bad except from the overpass behind Costco to the Stadiums. Smooth sailing after that. Viaduct, freeway and 4th ave were parking lots. We were moving better than everyone. Left our house at 3:15 so I think we got ahead of the worst of it.

  • Jim Clark August 1, 2012 (6:50 pm)

    bummer going downtown at 4:00 pm for work

  • Under Achiever August 1, 2012 (10:13 pm)

    There was a game at Safeco tonight. Imagine that.

  • R August 1, 2012 (10:21 pm)

    I “drove” by 4:30-5:10 (had to pick up a kid at camp) & picked up a strong chemical odor just past the spill. I was stuck in stop n go so there was nothing to do but breath it in…scary. Hope the odor was the clean up vs the chemical…

  • Kathy August 2, 2012 (12:24 am)

    Two gallons? Really? Here’s the MSDS:

    I can attest to the horrible nature of traffic – trying to get from Renton to Woodland Park Zoo … and I left about 4.20 pm. Took the better part of two hours.

  • David August 2, 2012 (1:42 am)

    “sodium borohydride and sodium hydroxide solution” sounds like some pretty nasty stuff.

  • Mary E OConnor August 2, 2012 (12:00 pm)

    So glad I checked the blog before heading out to Queen Anne yesterday. thanks WSB!

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