I-80 Reopens After Creating Big City Traffic In Small Town Annaw - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

I-80 Reopens After Creating Big City Traffic In Small Town Annawan

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Traffic is moving again along I-80 in Henry County.

After being closed most of Thursday to clean up a chemical spill from a crashed tanker truck.

Toluene was spilled, which is used in plastic and gasoline production.

The state police says the spill poses no immediate health risk.

The clean up forced traffic off I-80 onto smaller highways.

Causing a stream of cars and trucks to drive through Annawan and Atkinson on their way back to I-80.

Police say traffic was typical for I-80, which means there was lot more traffic on route 6 than most residents are used to.

It did cause some problems for businesses in Annawan.

The Purple Onion says about 30 of its regulars didn't show up Thursday.

Such a heavy traffic volume convinced people to avoid parallel parking in front of the restaurant with so many trucks rumbling past.

A few drivers did stop at Blackburns Roadhouse two blocks away, but one of the servers says many of the drivers just wanted to get out of their cars and stretch.

"A few ate but most of them were just trying to get out of their car for a minute and go," says Kelli Nastali.

Besides giving travelers a headache all the traffic choked the road for neighbors.

Several people told KWQC the police kept things moving, but there was no way to avoid delays.

Even the back roads were full of cars looking for a quick way back to the highway.

Traffic eased once one direction of the Interstate was reopened, and Annawan returned to its normal quiet downtown when state road workers pulled the barricades off I-80.

The truck driver, 44 year old Thomas Geary, of Frankfort, Illinois faces a charge of improper lane usage.