A semi-tanker-trailer leaked liquid lime on the Highway 321 underpass near FM 1960 in Dayton, leaving a bright white trail down the highway. A cap above a valve came off the trailer and caused the substance to drain onto the street. Before emergency crews arrived, multiple motorists drove through the lime leaving tire tracks down the roads and into parking lots.
This liquid lime is used to remove moisture from dirt to harden it so concrete can be poured for building roads. The lime cannot be allowed to dry into dust because it becomes an inhalation problem.
The Dayton Volunteer Fire Department, The Dayton Police Department, The Dayton Public Works Department and Allegiance Ambulance Service responded to the incident before TxDOT and HAZMAT were alerted. The trucking company contracted a cleanup crew to come in and take care of the leaked lime. The liquid lime was siphoned, pressure washed and sucked up before a road cleaner was used to remove the remaining lime. Traffic was backed up for hours as Highway 321 was closed entirely at the underpass during the cleanup efforts. The highway was finally reopened sometime around 6:30 pm.
The truck and trailer were parked and repaired in the parking lot of the old rice dryer. Cleanup crews are now focusing on removing the lime from the parking lot and the rice dryer entrance, which leaked while moving the truck from the highway.
One lane of the underpass is also being closed, possibly for a few days, as crews begin concentrating on the storm drains. Cameras are being placed into the storm drains to check for any lime that could have run into them to ensure it does not drain into the rivers. TxDOT is overseeing the cleaning of the storm drains as it falls under their jurisdiction.