DILLON, Colo. (CBS4)– Tons of lime spilled all over Interstate 70 near Frisco Wednesday morning. Crews spent nearly eight hours cleaning up the potentially hazardous substance.
“It’s not stuff that you want to get on your skin or breathe or get in your eyes, but it’s fairly benign, we just needed to clean it up,” said Lake Dillon Fire Department spokesman Steve Lipsher.READ MORE: FAA Investigates Mid-Air Collision Between 2 Small Planes Above Cherry Creek Reservoir South Of Denver
A semi carrying lime spilled just before 10 a.m. Wednesday in the eastbound lanes of I-70 at mile marker 203. About eight 50-pound bags spilled onto the highway.
Lime is corrosive and has a variety of uses. The concern is it could damage vehicles and more.
An immediate concern was the nearby blue river. The pristine waters, a favorite with fishermen, was located within a half mile of the spill.
“If it got to the Blue River at any quantity, it could damage the aquatic life,” said Lipsher.READ MORE: Semi Carrying Lemons Bursts Into Flames Causing Backups, Delays On EB I-70 Near Colorado Mills Parkway
Cleanup work began with the use of a common substance to counteract the corrosive nature of lime.
“Vitamin C, it’s an acid, ascorbic acid, and this is a base, so the two counteract each other,” said Lipsher. “Interestingly, much of it was done with brooms and shovels.
The cleanup crew donned special suits to protect them from the lime.
“Their air packs, which are metal, could be damaged by the lime so that’s why they had to put on their full suits,” said Lipsher.
The Colorado Department of Transportation closed both directions of I-70 between Breckenridge and Silverthorne for about an hour. Westbound lanes opened at 11 a.m. Wednesday.MORE NEWS: 'Level Clear' Loosens COVID Restrictions, Business Owners Excited
CDOT expanded the eastbound closure to include Vail just after noon Wednesday. Traffic started moving eastbound at about 5:30 p.m.