We watched cars crawl through the eastbound toll plaza, even a few hours after all lanes reopened. Emily Williams pulled over to rethink her plans of an evening on the Eastern Shore.
"People were honking horns at me. People were cutting me off. So I was just getting really tired of it," said Williams.
Changing plans is not as easy if you live across the bridge. It was bad timing for a 9,000-gallon propane tanker to start leaking.
A traffic camera showed it spewing from the top. It was the height of rush hour and when Annette Stine was trying to get home from her job in Bethesda.
"We sat for over an hour past Red Hot and Blue before we really even moved to get up here to even just get off," said Stine.
We saw people stopped and out of their cars when all lanes, east and west, were shutdown. The backup stretched about four miles in both directions until all lanes opened around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
That tanker put on the brakes just before reaching the westbound span. Then a perimeter was set up to keep traffic back from the danger.
"…to keep vehicles and sources of heat or anything that could cause the gas to ignite," said Sgt. Jonathan Green, Maryland Transportation Authority Police spokesman.
The leak was plugged and the tanker was taken over to Sandy Point State Park where the rest of the gas was emptied, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment. Slow to go home and a switch in plans is familiar ground for people who live on the shore.
"When you live on the Eastern Shore and you work on the Western Shore, you have no options. Going around Baltimore is way too far to go," said Stine.
The Maryland Department of the Environment says the tanker went to Sandy Point State Park to get rid of the remaining propane. As for Route 50, a spokesman says the gas will dissipate on the road.
©2007 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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