DURHAM, N.C. — Traffic is moving again along eastbound Interstate 40 between N.C. 55 and Fayetteville Road in Durham.
An early morning wreck forced the closure of the two-lane stretch of highway for about nine hours Friday morning. The first lane reopened to traffic at 9:15 a.m.. The second reopened just before noon.
Durham police said a tractor-trailer driven by Alan Foster, of Salisbury, was traveling east when he lost control and hit a guardrail at about 12:15 a.m.
The tractor-trailer overturned, scattering lumber and other construction materials across the highway.
Firefighters were called to the scene to handle a diesel fuel spill and Department of Transportation crews were forced to shut down both lanes as they cleared debris and worked to upright the truck.
Durham police said they erred on the side of caution in clearing the scene.
"The police department, after assessing what type of situation it was, decided we have to call out other groups, other contractors that could help us clean up the roadway," said David Addison, of the Durham Police Department.
Traffic was re-routed onto Fayetteville Road, N.C. 54 and N.C. 55. With backups on I-40 and at the detours, eastbound commuters were left with nowhere to go.
Foster has been charged with exceeding a safe speed.