ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Police say one lane of northbound US-131 near Rockford will remain closed for days after a tank rolled over early Tuesday, spilling thousands of gallons of fuel.

Both northbound lanes of US-131 were closed at 10 Mile Road for more than 12 hours before the left lane reopened around 2 p.m. The right lane was expected to remain closed for at least two days, creating room for the heavy equipment used in environmental cleanup.

“We do want to remind motorists that this still is an active scene,” Michigan State Police Lt. Michelle Robinson said. “…If anybody’s traveling in this area, please, please, please slow your speeds because it is still an active scene out here.”

She also warned of periodic shutdowns for the next week while crews keep working, though she noted the timeline may change.

  • The scene where a tanker rolled over along US-131 in Algoma Township on Jan. 24, 2023, spilling fuel. (Courtesy Michigan State Police)
  • The scene where a tanker rolled over along US-131 in Algoma Township on Jan. 24, 2023, spilling fuel. (Courtesy Michigan State Police)

MSP said the tanker rolled over in the northbound lanes near 12 Mile Road in Algoma Township around 1:20 a.m. when the driver lost control due to icy road conditions. The tanker went into the ditch.

It was carrying about 13,000 gallons of fuel, but hazmat crews limited the spill to about 4,800 gallons covering about 800 feet.

Shortly before 10 a.m., MSP Lt. Michelle Robinson said firefighters were pumping the remaining fuel out of the tanker. After that was done, around 11:40 a.m., a wrecker used a winch to right the tanker so they could take it away.

The next step is to dig up all the contaminated soil and take it to a special landfill.

“We’re going it have a bunch of soil that’s going to have to be excavated off here and sent off site, along with a little bit of water,” Kyle Jenkins of GFL Environmental, which was called in to deal with the spill, said.

“Just respect the speed limit give us space, please,” he added to drivers.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy is monitoring for groundwater and other contamination, keeping a close eye on wells in nearby neighborhoods. But the agency said first responders did a good job of minimizing the spill.

The driver sustained minor injuries, according to MSP.

—News 8’s Joe LaFurgey contributed to this report.