DOTD: Interstate 10 at Essen Lane now open in both directions

Interstate 10 at Essen Lane reopened in both directions Thursday at 6:45 a.m., according to the State Department of Transportation and Development.

The opening of the I-10 Thursday morning came after 26 hours of closure that created havoc for motorists Wednesday.

The closure was the result of a tanker truck crash involving a vapor leak of isobutane.

Authorities blew two holes in a tanker truck containing isobutane just before midnight Wednesday before moving a damaged tanker truck from the accident scene on Interstate 10 near Essen Lane.

Authorities evacuated residents within 500 yards of the accident prior to the controlled “vent and burn.” .

Traffic in the capital city was snarled throughout the day after both the eastbound and westbound lanes were closed on I-10 between Essen and Bluebonnet Boulevard following the accident, which occurred at 3:40 a.m.

The truck was carrying 8,700 gallons of isobutane.

The decision to do a “vent and burn” was made after consulting with experts on how best to remove the damaged rig, Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson said.

The crash shunted approximately 100,000 vehicles onto already full surface streets in Baton Rouge Wednesday, forcing officials to implement measures similar to a hurricane evacuation.

The crash occurred at 3:40 a.m. when the driver of a car lost control and hit a retaining wall before overturning on I-10 east. A tanker truck behind the car had to come to a quick stop, police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.

The 18-wheeler behind the tanker truck also had to stop quickly, but ended up crashing into the tanker, McKneely said. The tanker’s valve system was destroyed in the crash, which caused the vapor leak.