Construction crew accident leads to closure of I-81 in Sullivan County

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Smartway Camera Interstate 81 closed in both directions_1525112834333.PNG.jpg

Update at 10:15 p.m..

We now know what caused the closure of Interstate 81 in Sullivan County Monday afternoon.

According to a Kingsport Fire Department spokesman, a construction vehicle hit a guy wire, and that caused a pole with a high voltage line to fall.   The line fell across the interstate and entangled a vehicle and a tractor trailer.   It also caused a fire in the median of the interstate.    We’re told people in the entangled vehicles were ordered to stay in the vehicles until the high voltage lines could be removed from the cars.   No one was injured.

Below is an earlier report:

SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL) –  The Tennessee Department of Transportation reports Interstate 81 has reopened in both directions near Exit 63. That’s the Tri-Cities Airport exit. 

Earlier this afternoon, TDOT spokesperson Mark Nagi reported Interstate 81 at State Route 357  was closed in that area due to downed power lines causing a fire in the median. 

Now the lanes have since reopened, but TDOT reported around 3:25 p.m. EDT,  traffic was backed up a few miles due to the incident earlier in the day at Mile Marker 63. 

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