Slick Beltway Roads Caused by Chemical Error

The Maryland State Highway Administration said it is taking responsibility for slick roads Friday morning that led to at least eight accidents on the Outer Loop of the Beltway.

The accidents were reported Friday morning near the Georgia Avenue and Connecticut Avenue exits. They caused significant backups, and four people were transported to local hospitals with minor injuries.

MSHA said a section of the Outer Loop between Route 650 and Interstate 270 was pre-treated with what they thought was salt brine, which is what is usually used on area roads.

However, MSHA said that one of their trucks was using a mixture of salt brine and liquid magnesium. MSHA said that mixture is only used when there is actually snow on the ground. In this case that mixture apparently caused the slick road surfaces.

There were several accidents at about 1 a.m., but once accidents started happening on a more regular basis at about 5 a.m., that’s when MSHA realized there was a significant problem.

MSHA said the wrong mixture was used because the truck had not been reset from last winter. The truck might also be responsible for several accidents along Route 29, where the truck turned around to get on the Beltway.

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