Solid waste spill snarls traffic on Highway 27 Friday

Photo by Bruce Garner - The scene on Highway 27 N, at Dayton Boulevard.

UPDATE (4:10 p.m.):

Both northbound lanes are open from Signal Mountain Boulevard to Highway 153 as traffic remains a problem after two dump trucks carrying treated solid waste dumped their loads on Highway 27 North Friday morning.

Highway 153 at Highway 27 North remains closed.

Read more below.


Two dump trucks operated by a private company accidentally dumped their loads of treated solid waste in multiple locations on Highway 27 North Friday morning, from the Dayton Boulevard exit up to the overpass with Highway 153.

Chattanooga firefighters were called in to help the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) in figuring out what to do with what spilled.

The CFD says the decision was made to bring in Marion Environmental to take care of the cleanup.

Meantime, TDOT closed down Highway 27 North to just one lane around Dayton Boulevard and it was completely closed down at the Highway 153 overpass.

At that location, Chattanooga police are diverting traffic to Highway 153, then back onto to Highway 27 N to bypass the overpass.

On the overpass, front-end loaders are being used to remove as much of the solid waste as they can before firefighters use hoses to wash off the rest.

The cleanup on the whole stretch of Highway 27 north was expected to take several hours. Motorists are encouraged to find an alternate route until the cleanup is finished.

The CFD says the treated solid waste came from Chattanooga's Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant and was certified as a commercial fertilizer. It was being transported to a location in Dayton, where it would eventually be sold to farmers.

Representatives with the treatment plant and Marion Environmental said the treated solid waste was not hazardous and other than creating significant traffic problems, presented no threat to the public.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says the two drivers have been cited in this incident for driving with "unsecured loads."

Depend on us to keep you posted.

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