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Beltway backups stretch 9 miles after tractor-trailer wreck

Thursday - 7/31/2014, 10:13pm  ET

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First responders arrive at Thursday's truck wreck on the Inner Loop of the Beltway near New Hampshire Avenue Thursday. A line of traffic waits in the background to pass around the crash scene. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
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UPDATE: Thursday, 7/31/2014, 10 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON -- All lanes of the Inner Loop of the Beltway have reopened. Delays remain at the site of the crash.

UPDATE: Thursday - 7/31/2014, 3:12pm ET

WASHINGTON - Three lanes of traffic are now getting by the crash near New Hampshire Avenue. The ramp from New Hampshire to the Inner Loop remains closed.

EARLIER: Thursday - 7/31/2014, 2:00pm ET

WASHINGTON - A portion of the Capital Beltway in Maryland was closed for several hours Thursday after a morning tractor-trailer crash and a materials spill, which triggered a 9-mile-long back up and has clogged area roads in Montgomery County.

The tractor-trailer hit a sound wall along the Inner Loop near New Hampshire Avenue just after 10 a.m. Thursday. Investigators were working to clean up material and debris that spilled across the highway.

Hazardous materials crews from Montgomery County were called to the scene. Officials say that after striking the sound barrier, the trailer split open and dumped five drums of Rubinate on the highway. Rubinate is a chemical used in the production of polyurethane foam insulation.

The crash also knocked down a pole and damaged the sound wall, leaving two gaping holes in the barrier. The multi-vehicle crash left pieces of concrete strewn across the highway.

Three people were hurt but their injuries were not life-threatening, according to the Maryland State Police.

In addition to the tractor-trailer, two cars were also involved, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration.

One of the cars was a taxi, which ended up in the median.

In the meantime, all lanes of the Inner Loop were blocked. Inner Loop traffic was being diverted onto U.S. 29/Colesville Road.

Traffic stuck between Colesville Road and New Hampshire Avenue was initially getting by single file on the left shoulder but about 1:25 p.m., traffic was allowed to get by the crash in the left two lanes.

Backups continued to build and had reached River Road, a 9-mile stretch to the diversion point at U.S. 29 South, as of 1:15 p.m.

Delays begin before Old Georgetown Road as of 4:15 p.m.

But the delays spread beyond the Beltway to local roads including the East West Highway and University Boulevard.

"Major delays will likely linger right through the afternoon rush hour," says WTOP Traffic's Dave Dildine.

Traffic headed from Virginia to Maryland across the American Legion Bridge can use Interstate 270 to the Intercounty Connector to Interstate 95 to avoid the backups and work around the lingering crash cleanup.

Stay with WTOP for updates. Or listen live for the latest from the WTOP Traffic Center: bit.ly/sjB3au.

WTOP's Dave Dildine and Mike Murillo reported from the Beltway. Follow @WTOPTraffic and @WTOP on Twitter.

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