A box truck's front wheels appeared to hang over a ledge on the Alaskan Way Viaduct after it crashed into a barrier Thursday afternoon.
The crash happened around 1:30 p.m. and at 3 p.m., the scene still hadn't cleared.
Seattle Department of Transportation closed all southbound lanes on State Route 99.
A tow truck arrived to remove the crashed box truck around 2:30 p.m. All southbound lanes remained closed and a miles-long traffic backup was growing.
The viaduct had partially reopened by 3:30 p.m. One lane remained closed for repair work. Traffic officials said drivers should expect delays into the evening commute.
Despite all lanes reopening by 7 p.m., backups remained miles-long throughout the city.
Fire officials said there was a problem with the first tow truck, so officials had to find another way to remove the crashed box truck.
Seattle traffic officials said their plan to get the closures at the Battery Street Tunnel and the on-ramp to the southbound lanes of the viaduct from Elliott were successful in relieving some of the backup issues.
The backup is reminiscent for some of the infamous fish truck crash in 2015. Drivers waited nearly nine hours behind stalled viaduct traffic in March 2015 after a semitrailer tipped over and dumped salmon all over the road.
That incident prompted the city to create a new strategy for clearing crashes.
The report called for officers to get vehicles involved in collisions out of the way without worrying about damaging them.
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Cox Media Group