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Lanes reopened on Highway 71 following tractor-trailer crash

Police say a tractor-trailer hit a 500-gallon diesel drum in the road.

LAKEWAY, Texas — A crash involving a tractor-trailer on Highway 71 in Bee Cave had lanes closed for hours Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday, just before 5:30 a.m., the Lakeway Police Department (LPD) tweeted that all lanes of State Highway 71 were closed between Great Divide Drive and Bee Cave Parkway. 

As of 7:35 a.m., one lane of SH 71 eastbound was open. Between Farm to Market Road 620 and SH 71, Bee Cave police were manually operating the light signal.

Bee Cave Police chief Brian Jones said in this incident, a tractor-trailer hit a 500-gallon diesel drum that was laying in the road. Police are not sure how it got there.

"When they arrived, they observed that all diesel fuel was spilling out onto the road and into the ditch of northside of SH 71," Jones said.

Crews were brought in to clean it up, forcing police to close the road, causing long backups throughout most of the day.

Jones said with growth in the area, it’s not uncommon for traffic and crashes along SH 71.

However, the City of Bee Cave is trying to do something about it. Back in February, the city council approved a plan to put in a thoroughfare running parallel to 71.

"It connects the Bella Colinas neighborhood with the shops at the Galleria and runs a couple thousand feet south of 71 is, not that far in," Bee Cave City Manager Clint Garza."The alignment really depends on the site its going through. We are trying to accommodate future development for the individual parcels as we move through planning process."

Garza said the project will cost $10 million and the work along a 3-mile stretch could take several years to complete..

Garza said the City is also working with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and looking at ways to make improvements along SH-71. TxDOT oversees the highway.

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