Interstate 15 in Lehi was closed in both directions for about nine hours Saturday after a crash created a potentially hazardous situation.
“It was pretty much worse case on everything,” said Sgt. Brady Zaugg with the Utah Highway Patrol.
I-15 was closed in both directions around mile marker 282 stating at about 10:45 a.m. Saturday after a liquid petroleum tanker crashed, according to Zaugg.
Southbound lanes reopened around 7:30 p.m., and northbound traffic opened at about 8:20 p.m., according to the Utah Department of Transportation.
Southbound traffic was reopened once the butane was removed. Evacuations to nearby residents were also lifted at that time. Zaugg said northbound I-15 remained closed until the vehicle was completely removed.
The tanker, which Zaugg said was carrying butane, was leaking.
"We did want to keep people away as a precaution," Zaugg said. "So thankfully it was a very, very slow leak."
Both directions were closed as a precaution because the crash posed an explosion hazard.
No one was injured in the crash. The cause was not known, as of 7:45 p.m. Saturday.
Estimated times for when the roadway would open were pushed back throughout the day, going from 12:30 p.m., according to the Utah Department of Transportation, to 3:30 p.m. and beyond.
“With something like this, it could be a while,” Zaugg said earlier in the day.
The delays were caused by the situations the crash presented and the process of transferring the butane from one vehicle to another. Zaugg said the tanker had rolled in a precarious position and started leaking. Another truck from the same company was needed, and its equipment wasn’t designed to transfer that much liquid at a time.
“It wasn’t exactly a normal process,” Zaugg said.
The process took four hours, twice as long as expected.
Southbound vehicles was diverted off the interstate at the State Route 92 exit. Northbound traffic was diverted off the interstate at Lehi Main Street. From there, vehicles could take State Street to 2100 North to travel back onto I-15. The 2100 North southbound on ramp was closed.
UDOT monitored traffic signals in Lehi to help keep traffic moving through the detoured area.
Residents who lived within a quarter mile of the crash were notified that they needed to evacuate, according to Cameron Boyle, the public information officer for Lehi. That evacuation order included the Brookstone Apartments, but no homes Boyle was aware of.
"Anyone who is within that radius may have received a notification or a phone call," Boyle said.
Evacuees were directed to a church at 700 W. 2630 North in Lehi.
Boyle suggested for travelers in the area to avoid I-15 around the closure, westbound Main Street in Lehi and southbound State Street in Lehi as the closure continued.
Zaugg said some vehicles had gone around the closures to travel southbound on I-15. When caught by officials, Zaugg said the drivers were likely issued citations.