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Travel Alert: Fiery Crash Closes I-85 South In Orange County, NC

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pic by Jenny Rossbach

Traffic on I-85 / photo credit Jenny Rossbach

If you’re heading to the beach early for the Independence Day weekend and your journey includes I-85 South in Orange County, you may want to revise your route.

WRAL is reporting that all southbound lanes are presently closed as the result of a multi-vehicle accident that includes at least one fatality. According to early reports, a tractor-trailer with a cargo of cement mixers struck a bridge at NC 86. That crash set off secondary collisions that led to at least one tractor-trailer catching fire. There are also reports of a fuel spill.

The NCDOT tweeted that the northbound lanes had been closed but are now reopened. However, the southbound lanes are expected to remain closed at least through the afternoon.

WRAL retweeted a driver’s report that traffic is backed up for miles.

Traffic is being detoured onto US 70 at Exit 170.

I traveled this stretch of I-85 South yesterday afternoon and it already seemed that traffic was heavier than usual – likely due to early holiday traffic.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.