November 1, 2007

I-15 Spill Causes Major Traffic Diversion Through Park

Mojave National Preserve
National Park News

On the morning of October 31st, a tractor trailer rolled over on Interstate 15 at Mountain Pass, spilling 1,000 gallons of motor oil onto the freeway and ground. This section of I-15 follows the northern boundary of the park.

California Highway Patrol officers closed down all northbound lanes at the Cima exit and routed traffic through the park for over 30 miles while a hazmat team cleaned up the oil.

An estimated 8,000 vehicles passed through the park between 8 a.m. and midnight.

Numerous incidents occurred during that period, including three motor vehicle accidents. Six citations and 14 warnings were issued for various traffic infractions, including operating a vehicle with a revoked license, unsafe passing, speeding, and possession of an open container of alcohol.

Rangers also assisted motorists by providing information and directions, dealing with flat tires, and helping obtain towing services and gasoline.

During the afternoon, San Bernardino County maintenance personnel had to repair potholes created by the large volume of traffic.

Rangers acted professionally by maintaining order and keeping the number of incidents to a minimum through highly visible patrols and education.