March 14, 2007 by Joseph Krohn
Chicken fat clogged a major Louisiana traffic artery Tuesday, a day after a leaky truck left a stinky, slippery trail along a two-kilometre stretch of Interstate 20. The truck’s owner, Dixie Hydro-vac Specialist Co., an industrial cleaning company from West Monroe, tried to clean up the mess with a chemical but then it started to rain, said John Kelly, district administrator for the state Department of Transportation and Development. Crews spread sand over the gunk, which was mainly in one eastbound lane and worked Tuesday to scoop up the mess and keep it from oozing farther on the concrete bridge deck, Kelly said. Traffic was able to use the second lane. “The stench was overpowering,” Kelly said. He said the crews couldn’t just turn fire hoses on it because that would have sent the smelly pollution straight into the river. The time for finishing the cleanup depends on whether it rains again, he said. A second truck was brought in to transport the remaining fat. The spill was considered noxious but not toxic, Monroe fire officials said. It wasn’t immediately clear where the fat originated.