ROTTERDAM — The westbound lanes of the Thruway in Rotterdam were closed Monday morning following a spill of iron oxide, officials said.
The chemical spill affected about a half-mile of the highway. Crews spent most of the morning cleaning it up.
The westbound lanes between Exits 25 and 26 were closed for the entire morning. It had reopened just after noon.
The incident began just after 2 a.m. when a truck headed west on Interstate 90 hit an overpass abutment just before Exit 26, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The impact caused the trailer to release red powder later determined to be iron oxide, officials said.
Iron oxide is deemed hazardous due to the possibility of it being inhaled. If inhaled at high rates, it can cause irritation to the respiratory tract and eyes. It can be safely removed from a vehicle by washing it.
Most of the material was swept up by contractors in protective clothing. Crews used water to rinse the remainder off the road. The DEC monitored the cleanup.
All westbound traffic was diverted off the Thruway at Exit 25 to renter at Exit 26, state police said. Traffic appeared to flow smoothly down Interstate 890 and back onto the Thruway at Exit 26 at mid-morning.
The spill happened between mile markers 161 and 161.4 in Rotterdam, state police said.