Eastbound and westbound traffic on Hwy. 71 between Great Divide Drive and Hamilton Pool Road in Bee Cave was halted due to a large fuel spill early Wednesday morning; the issue has been resolved and all lanes are now open.

What happened

At approximately 5 a.m. Wednesday April 12, an 18-wheeler, or semi-trailer truck, hit a 500-gallon fuel drum in the westbound lanes of the 13600 block of Hwy. 71 between Great Divide Drive and Hamilton Pool Road, according to a press release from the city of Bee Cave.

“We are working with TxDOT, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Lake Travis Fire Rescue to reopen all lanes of traffic and mitigate any possible contamination caused by the diesel fuel spill,” Bee Cave Police Chief Brian Jones said in the press release.

Because the fuel spilled into the soil adjacent to the roadway, TCEQ removed all contaminated soil and replaced it with new soil by 2 p.m. Wednesday, the city said.

Traffic was halted in the area for several hours before the roads were reopened Wednesday afternoon.

What’s next

One step the city can take to avoid instances like this happening in the future is by building new roads, city officials said.

“Incidents like today show local roads are helping solve a safety issue, which is alternative routes to use when accidents shut down stretches of the highway,” Bee Cave City Manager Clint Garza said. “There cannot be a single point of failure, halting all traffic, including to emergency vehicles, when these incidents happen.”

The city is currently working on a new Bee Cave Thoroughfare Plan, which is a long-term plan to improve connectivity in Bee Cave and build new local roads.