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I-84 closed most of Monday

Truck carrying hazardous materials crashes near Meacham, causes multiple closures


Eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic on Interstate 84 were shut down about 14-1/2 hours Monday over two different spans following a crash of a truck carrying hazardous materials in Umatilla County. The crash, which did not cause any injuries, occurred at about 4 a.m. five miles west of Meacham, and it was not until 8:41 p.m. Monday that the hazardous materials were transported away, allowing all lanes of traffic to again be opened, said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Tom Strandberg. (Oregon Department of Transportation photo)

One crash, two extended closures.

Eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic on Interstate 84 were shut down about 14-1/2 hours Monday over two different spans following a crash of a truck carrying hazardous materials in Umatilla County.

The crash, which did not cause any injuries, occurred at about 4 a.m. five miles west of Meacham, and it was not until 8:41 p.m. Monday that the hazardous materials were transported away, allowing all lanes of traffic to be opened again, said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Tom Strandberg.

The freeway had been temporarily reopened at 1:30 p.m. after a hazardous materials team completed its check of the area for tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH), which the truck was carrying. TMAH is an ammonia solution that is corrosive, according to the Oregon State Police.

When the hazmat team, contracted by ODOT, determined that the area was secure, Strandberg said, I-84 was reopened until equipment needed to lift the chemical safely into another transport truck arrived. The freeway remained open until almost 3:30 p.m. It was then closed again so that the TMAH could be moved safely to the other vehicle.

During the second Monday closure, the freeway was shut down eastbound from Pendleton to La Grande and westbound from Baker City to Pendleton.

See complete story in Wednesday's Observer